The Phuket News Premier League predictions The Phuket News The Phuket News Kata Rocks
The Phuket News Thailand News
The Phuket News Phuket | Thailand | World | Business | Q&A | Weird World XML, RSS, Feed
The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News

Thaksin faces new court strife

BANGKOK: At least five court cases, including four alleging corruption, against former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra are expected to be resumed in absentia following a new organic law endorsed by the National Legislative Assembly (NLA).

crime, corruption, land, politics,

Bangkok Post

Friday 14 July 2017, 08:32AM

Thaksin Shinawatra. Photo: Jiji/AFP
Thaksin Shinawatra. Photo: Jiji/AFP

The NLA yesterday (July 13) voted unanimously to pass the controversial draft organic law on criminal procedures for holders of a political position.

A critical issue of the law is that the statute of limitations has not expired while a fugitive suspect is on the run and that the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions can order a trial to proceed in absentia.

Cases which have gone to the court before the enactment of this law will also be affected, meaning the law will be retroactive, in legal terms, ex post facto, literally “out of the aftermath”. In general, rule of law forbids prosecutions under laws passed after the alleged crimes were committed.

Critics say the law has been designed for a specific purpose, to target Thaksin. There are six cases involving the former prime minister.

Chusak Sirinil, head of the Pheu Thai Party’s legal team, said the law is against the core principle of the constitution.

Of them, five cases have been suspended due to his absence. Thaksin’s abuse of power in the Ratchadaphisek land deal resulted in a two-year prison sentence handed down to him.

The five suspended cases also include four of alleged corruption in connection with B4 billion loans of EXIM Bank to Myanmar, the two and three-digit lottery scheme, amendment of satellite and mobile phone concession contracts, and Krung Thai Bank’s loan scandal involving the Krisda Mahanakorn group.

Another case is a libel lawsuit filed by the army. Thaksin has faced at least six arrest warrants for the cases, including the Ratchadaphisek land deal. Once the law comes into effect, the five cases against Thaksin could be resumed in absentia, NLA sources said.

Somchai Sawaengkarn, spokesman of the NLA committee vetting the law, insisted the law was not designed for any particular person but for any corrupt political position-holder.

NLA member Thani On-laiad cited the principle of the general criminal procedure code to support his view that to allow the trial to be conducted in absentia would be an act of violating the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and possibly in breach of the core purpose of the constitution.

Atikom Intarabhuti, secretary-general of the Courts of Justice, who is among the minority on the NLA committee vetting the draft organic law that was fighting to delete from the draft the part about trials in absentia, asked that the provision be cut.

It is important that a trial is conducted with the defendant present least in the first round of it, he said.

That was to ensure justice, otherwise the defendant would later argue that a trial in absentia is unfair and when it requires cooperation from other nations regarding the deportation of that particular convicted individual back to serve the sentence in Thailand, other countries may refuse to help, he said.

“It would be better to adopt other legal mechanisms [instead of the trial in absentia option] such as to freeze the statute of limitations in the event the suspect has escaped during the trial,” he said.

“Another option is to improve the efficiency of the law enforcement organisation in tracking a suspect who is on the run.”

NLA member Thani On-laiad cited the principle of the general criminal procedure code to support his view that to allow the trial to be conducted in absentia would be an act of violating the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and possibly in breach of the core purpose of the constitution.

“The first proceeding must be done in the presence of the defendant as a guarantee of justice. Failing that, the proceedings cannot punish the defendant, who may also raise the issue of justice later. Besides, it will make extradition harder,” said Mr Thani, who suggested other options.

“Seizing assets is possible if the defendant has fled. Or we could separate the criminal case from the political case.

“We should use other measures to prevent the defendant from fleeing such as excluding the time from the statute of limitations and improving arrest efficiency so we won’t be rejected when seeking extraditions,” he said.

But Pattarasak Wannasaeng disagreed. He said the principle applied only to the general public and this law would be used only against politicians, who could intervene with government agencies and interfere with evidence. Under the current system, “some defendants” are on the run until the statute of limitations ends, he said.

“I don’t think the bill breaches civil rights. We also make an exception that it can be done only after efforts have been made to bring the defendant to trial. Only then do we regard him or her as giving up the right. Besides, we don’t deprive him of the right to appoint a lawyer to fight the case and a retrial is possible if he is convicted.

“Moreover, the court will use the inquisitorial system where it can actively seek facts by itself. The defendant will not be at a disadvantage,” Mr Pattarasak said.

Read original story here.



The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Comment on this story
* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.
Comments Here:

Comments Left: Characters
E-mail: (No Hotmail, Live, MSN and Outlook accepted at this time)
   => Forget password?

Be the first to comment.

The Phuket News
The Phuket News The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Share this
The Phuket News
Have a news tip-off? Click here
The Phuket News
Related stories
The Phuket News
Phuket community

Recent Comments

New bar-coded traffic violation tickets not in use in Phuket yet, confirmed

...."As there are many illegal drivers out there"... I think that is hardly the issue, because a illegal driver pays the fine and still c...(Read More)

More smoke than light in e-cigarette row

This is as always about tax revenue and nothing about helping people quit smoking the silly thing is if they did legalize these products and put a tax...(Read More)

More smoke than light in e-cigarette row

This is not about health but about the State tobacco monopoly in Thailand and potential loss of revenue. Only here would they increase cigarette t...(Read More)

Phuket tourists dissatisfied with beach trash and water quality, reveals survey

I agree! The big amount of tourists from Luxembourg not coming to Thailand anymore is a huge factor in the dwindling tourists numbers from European ...(Read More)

Phuket Gov repeats call to solve rubbish, wastewater issues

Snore. Why even keep bringing this up? Nothing is being done to make any difference. I saw somebody pull out in front of me on his motorbike with a dr...(Read More)

Phuket Opinion: Hobbled by Bangkok

There is one fundamental issue missing from this article. The fact of local people being elected means 'favortism'(or massive corruption as it...(Read More)

Phuket Opinion: Hobbled by Bangkok

As always, a great PN Public Opinion! Problem is: This Governor seems to be abandon/sabotaged by every single Phuket local government department in...(Read More)

Korean tourist 72, saved from drowning off Phuket

A lengthy article which gives no info on how she was "saved from drowning"...(Read More)

Phuket Opinion: Hobbled by Bangkok

It says in the opinion that expats helped in the 80's to develop Phuket.30 years later i see here some expats posting with an incredible knowledge...(Read More)

Patong Mayor, PEA drive on to bury communication cables

"The wonders of modern satellite technology" although that part is correct, the rest is not, granted satellites have their place, but there ...(Read More)

The Phuket News
Bangkok Hospital Phuket
Weird World
The Phuket News PHUKET LIFE
Phuket Arts
Phuket Community
Phuket Culture
Phuket Dining
Phuket Education
Phuket Entertainment
Phuket Environment
Phuket Health
Phuket People
Phuket Technology
Phuket Travel
World Entertainment
Photo Galleries
The Phuket News PHUKET SPORT
Phuket Buy and Sell
Phuket Jobs
Phuket Property
Phuket Cars and Boats
Phuket Community
Phuket Services
The Phuket News The Phuket News PHUKET EVENTS
Phuket Event listings
Phuket Event calendar
Buy Tickets
Phuket Bars, pubs and clubs
Phuket Hotels and villas
Phuket Restaurants
Phuket Yellow Pages
The Phuket News BARGAINS
The Phuket News ABOUT US
The Company
Distribution points
Advertise with us
Pay for advert
Contact us
Content Google Map
Site map
Australian Visa Services
Currency - The Phuket News   Weather Report - The Phuket News   Surf Report - The Phuket News
LinkedIn - The Phuket News   Twitter - The Phuket News   YouTube - The Phuket News   Facebook - The Phuket News
Copyright © 2017 Class Act Media. All rights reserved. | Website usage terms and conditions | Privacy and Confidentiality Statement.