A judge in Thailand today ordered American businessmen and founder of the Pattaya Times newspaper to withdraw a libel suit against a Bangkok based British correspondent or face arrest.
At Pattaya Provincial Court today (Tuesday) Drew Noyes, 57, and his common-law Thai wife Wanrapa Boonsu, were told to withdraw the suit against journalist Andrew Drummond and return to the court on June 14th to report that it had been done.
Noyes and Wanrapa had earlier agreed to withdraw the libel in a deal brokered in Pattaya Provincial Court last year.
But Drummond claimed that despite that agreement Pattaya Police had demanded he return to Pattaya to answer the libel charge which Noyes had promised to withdraw on pain of imprisonment.
In other Noyes related cases Dutch businessman Theo van der Schaff has said he is taking Noyes to court on May 31 in relation to an alleged fraud in Hua Hin.
And next month on June 11 and 12th Mr. Noyes and Ms Boonsu have also to return to Pattaya Court to face extortion charges. It is alleged they attempted to extort 2.5 million baht out of Michel Goulet, joint owner of the Thonglor Clinic, in Jomtien, Pattaya, to avoid a police bust and the subsequently publicity.
|Michael Goulet identifies Drew Noyes and Wanrapa Boonsu|
According to Mr. Goulet in testimony already given Noyes told him that the going rate was 7 million baht (£153,334.) but he could have a discount.
Journalist Andrew Drummond did not need to face cross examination after the judge instructed Noyes’counsel that the issue was merely whether Noyes and Boonsu had broken an agreement (by not withdrawing the case) or not.
There was a heated exchange in court between Noyes and Kanokrat Nimsamoot Booth, President of the Federation of Thai Wives of Foreign Spouses who was acting as interpreter for Andrew Drummond. Noyes later apologised to Ms Kanokrat.*
Noyes used his ‘wife’Wanrapa as an interpreter.
However as the judge got up to leave the court he demanded: “Where is Drummond’s apology? I never saw it. If he says he has apologised then it’s a fraud. I have apologised. I have got the proof.
“Where is his apology? Where is his proof.”
Drew Noyes bowed from the waist as the judge left.
|The Masquerades Website has now been taken down|
Drew Noyes was profiled in an investigation (left and below) carried out by journalist Scott Gold published by the Wilmington Morning Star in North Carolina, before arriving in Thailand since which time he has described himself as having worked 14 years in service to the King of Thailand.
Noyes claims he subsequently threatened to sue the newspaper which apologised and the journalist lost his job. Both the newspaper and journalist say they have received no complaints or threats of law suits from Noyes and Scott Gold is currently Science Correspondent of the Los Angeles Times.
A separate claim of libel against Drummond brought by Drew Noyes and Australian David Hanks, from Melbourne, was adjourned to await a judge’s decision to see if it would be accepted.
David John Hanks denied being the David Hanks registered as being a former proprietor of the Masquerades Brothel in Keysborough, Victoria. and said he had a legitimate company in Thailand with Wanrapa Boonsu, Noyes’ common-law wife in which he had invested 2 million baht – AUS$68,000.
The Masquerades specialises in what it describes as ‘Asian Pussy’.
A spokesman at ‘Masquerades’ brothel in Keysborough, a suburb of Melbourne indeed confirmed that Hanks was not the proprietor.
“He sold up last year. He is in Thailand now. I do not have an address for him I am afraid.”
The allegations subject to the libel case were made in posters’ letters to Andrew Drummond under a story headed: – The hunt is on for mysterious Welsh Icelandic Scotsman.
Mr. Noyes’ former Pattaya Times has been heavily promoting a ‘Gentleman’s Club’ call Cupid, bankrolled by a US civilian working for the US Military.
However two years after the initial investment the club in Pattayaland Soi 1 still has not opened.
Noyes’ remarks in court while the judge was not present were something to behold. He loudly went on his mobile to get some person, imaginary or otherwise, to print out something and bring it to court. “Yeah we will do him for that. He’s right next to me””.
At other times he repeatedly said: “There are 67 cases against Drummond”, then “And six other people are suing”.
He rounded on Ms Kanokrat asking her why she supported Andrew Drummond. “You’re also supporting the people at Emerald Green aren’t you?” (He meant Emerald Palace a condominium in Pattaya where people who bought apartments found that the deeds had been flogged off to the Kasikorn Bank for a loan).
Noyes: “Why are you supporting someone who writes bad things about Thailand?”
Kanokrat: “He does not write bad things about Thailand. He writes about bad people in Thailand”.
Then he said: “You’re Drummond’s boyfriend aren’t you? I have heard you are”. At this point Ms Kanorkat , who has a partner, understandably demanded the apology.
Ms Kanokrat said she intended to take Mr.Noyes to court.