Coren and Hodge were caught climbing over walls and police tape to enter the crime scene. — Picture via Twitter/ FCCThai
PETALING JAYA, Oct 11 — Two CNN reporters narrowly escaped prosecution after filming at the site of the nursery killings in Thailand.
Australian reporter Anna Coren and British cameraman Daniel Hodge were accused of climbing over police tape to enter the childcare centre, where 24 children were murdered.
Thailand’s deputy national police chief Surachate Hakparn had initially insisted on prosecuting the journalists for breaking into the crime scene and tainting evidence, Thaiger reported.
However, the pair have since been let off with a 5,000 baht (RM612) fine for working in the country under tourist visas, and have been cleared of wrongdoing for entering the nursery.
On Thursday (October 6), 37 people including young children were shot and slashed to death when a former police officer attacked a preschool in the rural town of Uthai Sawan.
The attacker had also shot at bystanders after leaving the daycare centre, before returning home to shoot his wife, child and himself.
Coren and Hodge received widespread criticism after photographs of them climbing over police tape and the waist-high gates to the nursery surfaced online last Friday (Oct 7).
The pair’s coverage, which showed Coren pointing at the nursery’s bloodstained floor and walls, has also been taken down by CNN.
The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand (FCCT) said the incident was a “serious breach of professional ethics”.
“CNN meanwhile should answer a simple question.
“Would one of their crews have behaved in the same way at a serious crime scene in the United States?” said the FCCT in a statement on Saturday (October 8).
CNN, along with Coren and Hodge, have apologised for the incident.