Ratchada Land Case : Thaksin guilty, 2 years of jail

Done. Thaksin is now a convicted on the run. 😉

Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions Tuesday found ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra guilty in Ratchadaphisek land deal case and sentenced him to 2 years in jail. His wife Khunying Potjaman was cleared of all charges.

The court ruled 5:4 that Mr Thaksin was guilty of conflict of interest while he was a prime minister by facilitating his wife’s land purchase of 33-rai of land on Thiam Ruam Mit road from the Bank of Thailand’s Financie Development Fund (FIDF) at a discounted price five years ago.

“Thaksin had violated the article of the constitution on conflict of interest, as he was then prime minister and head of government who was supposed to work for the benefit of the public,” one judge said, reading the verdict. “He is sentenced to two years in jail.”

The jail term was given without suspension. But because Mr Thaksin is currently living in exile in London, an arrest warrant was also issued for him.

The court ruled 7:2 to clear Khunying Potjaman of all charges, citing that she was not a state official.

Right after the verdict was handed down, Mr Thaksin gave a telephone interview to Reuters, saying that he had expected the jail term.

“I have been informed of the result. I had long anticipated that it would turn out this way,” he was quoted as saying, adding that the case was politically motivated. (Bangkok Post)

Let’s hope that the thai gvt will -at last and prestissimo- cancel his diplomatic passport… Before, he was just a vulgar bail jumper… now he has been convicted… it’s going to be difficult to keep the status quo.

Unless they’re willing to be ridiculed.

(Bangkok Pundit has interesting details and comments about the court’s votes).

17 Responses to “Ratchada Land Case : Thaksin guilty, 2 years of jail”


  1. 1 fdl 21 October 2008 at 1:32 pm

    Convicted for conflict of interest Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra and sentenced absentia to two years jail term. Wife Potjaman escaped conviction on a technicality, but Potjaman was previously convicted for tax evasion and sentenced to three years jail term.

    What’s next, what other criminal cases to be adjudicated against Thaksin and/or Potjaman?

  2. 2 paperback 21 October 2008 at 8:05 pm

    Well, from the information I gathered so far about this case the only ones who should fear to be ridiculed are the judges who committed this perversion of justice. So this is the big corruption case against Thaksin? Guilty of being prime minister at a time when his wife bought real estate from a central bank fund?!? Come on guys, get real. What exactly did he DO that was illegal? Put pressure on the fund’s managers to accept a price below value? Pass classified information about the deal to his wife? No? So what was it?

    What is really appalling here is the obvious double standard of the Thai legal system: a whiff of nothing by Thaksin – two years in jail. Surayud Juranont building a house within a nature reserve – enjoy the view. Prem Tinasulanont living for free at Si Sao Thewes residence although he has long left the office of Commander-in-Chief – model citizen. Teepasurank Pakdeethanakul stealing real estate and changing zoning to improve the value – nothing happens except that the victims even had to pay her in order to get their property back. Jaruwan Menthaka hiring her son as her secretary – no conflict of interest there, of course.

  3. 3 fdl 22 October 2008 at 12:28 am

    ‘Paperback’ don’t believe too much in fairy tales. It was a corruption-crime wave of sort when Thaksin became Thai PM and that was in the news and internet blog sites for your reference. Not content on corrupting those Esan economically perennially dependent poor, Thaksin gave a side Gladiator-like show of extra-judicial killings for entertainment while his self-seeking cronies stuffed their pockets with assigned shares of the corruption cake sliced and diced by wife Potjaman.

    But Paperback you do like to repeat that lame Thaksin broken record defense that everyone else in Thailand is corrupt. Don’t you have any other CD to listen to?

  4. 4 ThaiCrisis 22 October 2008 at 12:29 am

    Paperback, you have some points. However :

    -“is this the big corruption case ?” No. It’s just one among a DOZEN of cases.
    This is absolutly not an isolated case, like an “honest mistake” (his line of defense during the asset conceilment case in 2001).And that’s the problem. Thaksin has litteraly a STRING of cases against him.

    -what was illegal ? Well the ruling is indeed a little bit surprising. However, I think the conflict of interest is obvious ! It is amazing that the PM’s wife can participate to an auction to buy an asset linked to the state. I’m sorry, but it’s shocking.

    -double standards. Well sure… I perfectly agree : they are all rotten to the core.
    The only mistake of Thaksin if I may say is that he put the corruption on an INDUSTRIALIZED level.
    😉

  5. 5 Gloomy Observer 22 October 2008 at 1:56 am

    However, paperback has a point….almost all authorities here are corrupt to some degree, and “conflict of interest” is an alien concept. You gain power SPECIFICALLY to further your own, your family’s and your friends’ interests

  6. 6 MSB 22 October 2008 at 2:32 am

    nothing changes from this verdict. it was widely expected. Now its time for the PAD to do something positive for a change. Get out of gov house and start acting like a serious political force rather and a paramilitary organisation. Thaksin is in the UK and not coming back so get over him. Time to move on.

  7. 7 chinesethai 22 October 2008 at 4:57 am

    Thaksin has not yet exhausted all the possibilities since Thailand is in a critical period. That’s why this blog was set up for, right?

  8. 8 Bedwyr 22 October 2008 at 5:09 am

    Every comment is right. Paperback puts on a nice spin for his hero Thaksin, the others rightly point out that the judiciary, traditionally one of the most corrupt institutions in Thailand, is, well, corrupt.

    But then perhaps this is the one time in the last 100 years when they have actually acted honestly and with integrity. So naturally Thaksin’s main complaint is that this time, they decided not to be bought – though he did try hard as his jailed legal people will no doubt testify.

    But this does not excuse Thaksin: probably the most corrupt PM Thailand ever had. Certainly the one who milked most out of the Thai national economy, for which he and his ministers (Sudarat etc) appear to have had their own ATM card and milking stool.

    Justice of a sort, though he is no doubt crying like a baby.

    The really interesting thing will be to see what UL does with his asylum application, giving his continued meddling anf manipultion of Thai politics. I suspect they will refuse it., and they would be entirely right to do so, because he won’t stop, as is required of all asylum-seekers.

    I suspect he will find the UK government rather less easy to hoodwink than were Thais.

    Bedwyr

  9. 9 l prao 22 October 2008 at 6:18 am

    One thing about Thailand is except on rare blips, its economy continue to roar ahead, thanks to its profit hungry merchants and industrious farmers, and no thanks to its corrupt leaders (elected or otherwise) past and present. Those rare blips include the 1997 financial crisis during Chavalit-Thaksin reign.

    But the stubborn malicious streak of the corrupt Thaksin camp to restore their Beloved Leader to power could finally cause havoc to Thailand’s economic and political stability. Perhaps Thailand’s justice system had truly shed its dishonesty and corruption. It is never too late for judges (or Thaksin even) to be honest.

    But for Thai politicians, dishonesty remains their trademark, and democracy as usual their shield.

  10. 10 chinesethai 22 October 2008 at 6:47 am

    Bedwyr:

    I believe the UK considers asylum apps on ground of its national interest, rather than principle.

    By nature, Thaksin is extremely cautious when it comes to his personal safety. If you looked into his past record of running businesses and pulling strings over Thai politics…. he sold IBC to CP’s UTV right away when his monopoly in the industry began to be threatened. He sold ShinCorp right away at peak when he felt his PM tenure was threatened. And these are just few of the many examples. He will never do businesses in a competitive environment.

    In politics, he is ready to use and manipulate his people and voters and reward them in his interests or discard anyone of his vassals once they are no longer useful. Da Torpido, Jakrapob, and the notorious lawyers who earlier tried to bribe the judges in Ratchada Land Purchase are the most obvious examples.

    Therefore, Thaksin must have already secured a third place for himself and his family. That’s why Bermuda and Barbados made headlines in Thai newspapers weeks ago. And Thailand will once again fail to bring him to justice.

  11. 11 paperback 22 October 2008 at 6:54 am

    @ fdl

    “Thaksin gave a side Gladiator-like show of extra-judicial killings for entertainment”

    Now that’s what I would call serious crimes which call for severe punishment. Strangely enough of all misdeeds Thaksin may be accused of the first thing that came to court is this lame real estate “case”. Could it be that when it comes to real crimes like the extra-judicial killings Thaksin’s opponents are as interested in hushing up things as he would be himself?

    “But Paperback you do like to repeat that lame Thaksin broken record defense that everyone else in Thailand is corrupt.”

    That’s not a defense. It’s just a note that if the judiciary would be really interested in fighting corruption they would find an abundant range of cases which they could take care of and were actually illegal things happened. This ruling is not the turn of the tide. It’s real meaning is: continue with your corrupt policies as you please but don’t ever think about challenging the true powers in this country.

  12. 12 paperback 22 October 2008 at 7:08 am

    @ ThaiCrisis

    “Thaksin has litteraly a STRING of cases against him.”

    Good to hear. I really hope that also the important ones – like his human rights abuses – will be laid on the table not just some contructed mini-cases that will please PAD’s hunger for revenge and then stop investigating in other cases to avoid to dig deeper into Thai politics.

    “It is amazing that the PM’s wife can participate to an auction to buy an asset linked to the state. I’m sorry, but it’s shocking.”

    Is it shocking? I wouldn’t agree. But the important question is: is it illegal? The court completely fails to be convincing in its “yes” to this question.

    @ Bedwyr

    “Paperback puts on a nice spin for his hero Thaksin”

    Thaksin to be my hero? Far from it. I’m on the side of rule-of-law and democracy which puts me in a place equidistant from Thaksin and his enemies.

    “But then perhaps this is the one time in the last 100 years when they have actually acted honestly and with integrity.”

    Again: far from it. This ruling is laughing stock concerning the legal questions involved. I think they chose such an insignificant case because his real cases would not put Thaksin alone in the dock.

  13. 13 fdl 22 October 2008 at 1:28 pm

    Was the conviction of Thaksin and his wife Potjaman for corruption and tax cheating insignificant as ‘Paperback’ claims? Far from it. Not everyday are Prime Ministers judicially tried for criminal abuses during their rule. For Thailand, if memory serves me right, there was the strongman Thanom Kittikachorn case aside from Thaksin/Potjaman.

    There are more criminal cases being pursued against Thaksin and a few includes a lot of TRT cronies in the dock which Paperback alleges the Thai courts deliberately avoid.

    The Thaksin spin continues and Paperback is not a very glib spinner at that when he tries to malign the Thai courts because Paperback’s hero (yes Paperback you cannot disguise your Thaksin worship) Thaksin and wife were judicially tried, convicted and sentenced to jail terms.

  14. 14 Hoktula 23 October 2008 at 9:24 am

    anyway, it is very boring stuff about Thaksin.
    I think MSM, PAD and courts keep stirring it in order to distract the attention from real issues – like so called “New Politics” so pushed forward by PAD.

    BTW

    Bedwyr’s rant sucks as usually,
    getting more and more boring each time !

    paperback – has more interesting things to say.
    but I think it is a total waste of time and energy to indulge Thaksin-bashers in debates. let them go on bashing him ! coz anyway they have nothing nothing much else to talk about.
    you will never hear from them discussion of why PAD has masturbated in front of reporters or defecated in front of their minivan. PAD for them is a holy crusading band of democratic warriors. and anyone who disagree with PAD must be condemned and branded by all sorts of dirty words, and perhaps even beaten as NBT workers.

    so, there is no point in debating with someone who practically advocates PAD thugs. oh yeah, they are not thugs, I forgot – they are Srivichai Warriors. sure, warriors indeed !
    (“Nokropsrivichai”)

  15. 15 paperback 23 October 2008 at 11:20 am

    @ fdl

    “Was the conviction of Thaksin and his wife Potjaman for corruption and tax cheating insignificant as ‘Paperback’ claims?”

    Of course these convictions are very significant. Please read what I wrote. I said that the Ratchadaphisek case is insignificant regarding the legal issues involved. I don’t see anything illegal here. And I wasn’t saying anything about Potjaman’s tax evasion trial.

    “There are more criminal cases being pursued against Thaksin and a few includes a lot of TRT cronies in the dock which Paperback alleges the Thai courts deliberately avoid.”

    Oh, I am sure the Thai courts will pursue every case that will be limited to Thaksin and TRT/PPP members. Please read what I wrote. I’m convinced that Thai courts will deliberately avoid any case that involves not only Thaksin&friends but also people associated with DP, PAD or the Royal family.

    “The Thaksin spin continues and Paperback is not a very glib spinner at that when he tries to malign the Thai courts”

    I don’t have to “try to malign” Thai courts. The Thai judiciary is malign, corrupt, dependent and biased.

    “because Paperback’s hero (yes Paperback you cannot disguise your Thaksin worship) Thaksin and wife were judicially tried, convicted and sentenced to jail terms.”

    *rolleyes* Please read what I wrote. If you actually believe that a man I accuse of serious crimes, ignoring the rule-of-law and call a human rights abuser is my hero, just do so. I’m happy if Thaksin goes to jail for his crimes (his real crimes, not the Ratchadaphisek folly). But I will trust the Thai judiciary and stop blaming it for its hypocrisy only if they start sending criminals to jail regardless of their political position. The judiciary’s job is to provide equal justice under law. At the moment they are just a compliant partisan tool in the Thai power struggle.

  16. 16 fdl 24 October 2008 at 1:07 pm

    Priorities ‘Paperback’, priorities . . . and that is what the Thai judiciary is doing (by tackling big cases first) although the Thaksin worshipers would like to paint judiciary bias. Have you noticed Paperback that lots of absconding ‘convicted’ political criminals lately?

  17. 17 paperback 27 October 2008 at 11:16 am

    @ fdl

    LOL

    If you claim the Ratchadaphisek case is Thaksin’s “big case” which needed to be dealt with priority you let him look completely innocent! 😀


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Thailand Crisis

Coup, Economic slowdown, Terror In the South... The situation is worsening in Thailand. Bumpy road like often before.

But this time, it's different.

The key to understand the present turmoil is the inevitable... succession of King Bhumibol.


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