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Ex-TAT governor loses final appeal against long prison sentence

Ex-TAT governor loses final appeal against long prison sentence

THAILAND: The bribery case over the hosting of the Bangkok International Film Festival came to an end yesterday (Nov 16), when the Supreme Court upheld long prison sentences for former Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Juthamas Siriwan and her daughter.

corruptioncrime
By Bangkok Post

Tuesday 17 November 2020, 09:14AM


Former Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Juthamas Siriwan, left, and her daughter Jittisopha are taken by Corrections Department officials to the Central Women’s Correctional Institution in May 2017 after the Central Criminal Court for Corruption and Miscoundct Cases sentenced them in the Bangkok International Film Festival Festival bribery case. Photo: Patipat Janthong/file.

Former Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Juthamas Siriwan, left, and her daughter Jittisopha are taken by Corrections Department officials to the Central Women’s Correctional Institution in May 2017 after the Central Criminal Court for Corruption and Miscoundct Cases sentenced them in the Bangkok International Film Festival Festival bribery case. Photo: Patipat Janthong/file.

The highest court confirmed the judgement of the Appeal Court, which sentenced 73-year-old Juthamas to 50 years in prison, and her daughter Jittisopha, 46, to a term of 40 years, in May last year.

Yesterday’s ruling put an end to the high-profile case, which started five years ago when state prosecutors arraigned the two women in court.

The pair were indicted on Aug 25, 2015 for demanding and receiving bribes from Gerald Green and his wife Patricia, an American couple, in exchange for their being awarded a B60 million contract to organise the annual film festival from 2002 to 2007.

Jittisopha helped her mother commit the offences by opening accounts at several foreign banks, and the American couple paid US$1.8mn (currently B53.4mn) into these accounts.

Dan About Thailand

In its judgement in May 2017, the Central Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases also ordered the confiscation of assets to the value of the B62mn, being the bribe plus interest.

The Appeal Court upheld the 50 year sentence for Juthamas but reduced Jittisopha’s sentence from 44 to 40 years, finding that she was not involved in bribery in the 2007 festival.

It also revoked the assets seizure on the grounds the prosecution did not seek financial damages.

The former TAT governor and her daughter have been held at the Central Women’s Correctional Institution since the criminal court’s judgement. Both were refused bail.

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