The Nation reports that the Constitutional Court judge Jaran Pakdithanakul has “sought and received” permission to withdraw from the already bizarre “charter amendment bill” case.
The Nation, citing the Court President Wasan Soypisudh, makes the ludicrous claim that Jaran withdrew “due to his concern for prejudiced decision…”.
What makes this claim ludicrous is that Jaran actually presided at “the morning session but decided to exit the [inquiry] during the lunch break.” The only reason Jaran stood down was because a lawyer for those who stand accused of threatening the “constitutional monarchy” “submitted a transcription of Jaran’s recorded interview when he was a charter writer for the 2007 Constitution” where Jaran spoke in support of the military junta’s constitution.
If Jaran hadn’t been called out, he would have stayed on the bench. This is yet another example of how the justices of the court are not only politically biased and corrupt but also seem to lack ethics and even a command of the law.
Jaran is not the only justice who should recluse. Think of Court President Wasan. He has already told the media his view:
At the Bangkok Post the royalist’s favorite judge says he “believes the present process to amend the charter may be intended to change the government of Thailand or end its constitutional monarchy.”
He went even further, saying that the whole court already has a view:
the court studied debates in parliament’s third reading of the bill to amend Section 291 of the present constitution and found there were possible attempts to change the government of Thailand and end the constitutional monarchy which violate Section 68 of the constitution.
This court is a law unto itself. We suspect that Jaran was actually off to Hua Hin for a long weekend for judicial and ethical considerations have never bothered this lot.
Update: We were right. PPT noted above that more than one more judge should leave the bench. Now the Bangkok Post reports that three more judges “asked for permission to withdraw from the bench considering the constitutionality of the charter amendment bill…”. This included Court President Wasan.
Wasan “said two judges – Supot Khaimuk and Nurak Mapraneet – asked to withdraw because they were members of the committee that drafted the 2007 constitution.” Their requests were rejected, “saying the fact that they were among the drafters of the 2007 charter did not justify their withdrawal from the case.”
In Wasan’s case, he “sought permission to withdraw, because an audio clip of him commenting on the charter amendment had been posted on the YouTube social video site. The meeting of judges also rejected his request.”
That this is a kangaroo court is plain to all.