Rich people and “justice”

14 08 2022

It seems like the expiration of yet another charge facing Vorayuth “Boss” Yoovidhya has caused the regime some grief. So much so that it has wheeled out its chief legal huckster Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam.

He has babbled about authorities stepping up efforts to locate the rich fugitive and bring back  to face punishment. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth, as 10 years of stalling, bribery, influence, looking away, and doing nothing have shown.

Wissanu was, in fact, “responding to a question during a parliamentary session from Theeratchai Panthumas, a Move Forward Party MP, who asked about progress in the case.” Prsumably Wissanu felt the need to come up with the usual nonsense.

His exact words are quoted: “Authorities will use all means and channels available and work with other countries to bring him to justice…”.

Apparently, the hopelessly biased National Anti-Corruption Commission “is also considering whether to launch an inquiry against 15 people, including police officers and soldiers, for their alleged role in obstructing justice in the case.” Wow. It has only taken a decade to get to this point!

The pursuit of Vorayuth has been a farce from the beginning. Most Thais understand that the rich and the “good” get a different justice from the average person. What the average person gets is a sad joke.





Bent law enforcement and warped institutions

7 08 2022

Rotten to the core

The legal system from police to the highest court is rotten to the core.

Prachatai reports that after 7 years, “the public prosecutor has decided to indict activists from the New Democracy Movement (NDM) and the Dao Din group on charges of sedition for an anti-junta protest in front of Pathumwan Police Station on 24 June 2015.”

There were 17 people “charged for participating in the 24 June 2015 protest, including activists Jatupat Boonpattaraksa and Chonticha Jaengrew, activist-turned-Move Forward Party MP Rangsiman Rome, and Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, leader of the now-dissolved Future Forward Party.”

On 4 August 2022, that the public prosecutor decided to indict 10 of the activists 7 years after the protest and 3 years after the charges were filed. They were later granted bail using a security of 70,000 baht each.”

Meanwhile, the well-connected rich and powerful get away with murder.

Prachatai also reports that the royalist judiciary via its Judicial Commission has unanimously ruled to remove judge Wichit Leethamchayo from the Supreme Court “after he was found to have joined pro-democracy protests…”.

It seems that “right-wing groups accused him of showing support for pro-democracy protests on at least two occasions in 2021.” Ultra-royalist Maj Gen Rientong Nan-nah “filed a complaint with the Judicial Commission in March last year accusing Wichit of showing ‘anti-monarchy behaviour’ in front of the Supreme Court on 13 February. Rienthong also claimed that Wichit posted anti-monarchy comments on Facebook using the name Wichit Lee.”

The Commission agreed, with “judges on the Commission called out his ‘anti-monarchy’ stance.”

As the report notes, this judiciary is biased. Judge Methinee Chalothorn, who was appointed President of the Supreme Court in September 2020, has been seen in published photos attending “a right-wing anti-government PDRC protest which led to the military coup in 2014.” Of course, she’s not been censured as supporting the right, ultra-royalists is second nature for most judges. In fact, it is revealed that:

the Judicial Commission’s minutes confirming that it had acknowledged Methinee’s participation in the anti-democracy protest in July 2020, 3 months before the appointment of a new President of the Supreme Court in October. Yet the Commissioners voted 13-1 to approve her appointment with several judges giving the opinion that being at a protest site does not mean that she showed support for the protest. Worasit Rojanapanich, an external examiner for the Commission, said that her participation was “graceful” for a judge because she acted out of love for the nation and the monarchy.

Clearly monarchism and the monarchy has crippled the judiciary. Its royalism is the reason for denied bail, the avalanche of 112 convictions, and endless double standards.

And royalism is infecting other institutions, with Prachatai reporting that the “unelected Senate has voted 146-38 not to appoint Prof Arayah Preechametta to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC). The meeting minutes are confidential, but Isara News cites an anonymous source in the Senate claiming that the candidate was not approved because his ideas were contrary to the conservatives.” By “conservatives” is meant royalists, ultra-royalists, and supporters of the military/monarchy-backed regime.

Isara News cited an anonymous source in the Senate claiming that during the meeting it was mentioned that a person filed a complaint against Arayah because he had political ideas in opposition to the conservatives. The Senate eventually voted to reject Arayah on the basis that he was insufficiently right-wing. Presumably the unelected swill want “trusted” compatriots making the “right” decisions.





“Integrity” and “”transparency”

2 08 2022

There are times when one reads newspapers and wonder if the journalists involved have recently suffered as severe head knock or if they are lazy or perhaps think that the starkness of a report damns those involved.

Take, as an example, The Nation’s report on Nok Air’s skid off a landing strip at a provincial airport. Of course, not all accidents require an emergency evacuation, but the “explanation” from Nok Air was a doozy: “Nok Air said it decided against evacuating passengers via slides immediately because the ground had many puddles due to heavy rain. Also, it said, it was worried about their safety as it was dark outside and there may be dangerous animals lurking in the area.” Do we take it that snakes, tigers, and bears are loose inside the provincial airport? Surely a truthful statement that the pilot did not consider emergency evacuation necessary might have been a competent statement?

Truth is always fraught among the elite in Thailand.

Then there’s the report, also at The Nation, that announces the results of the National Anti-Corruption Commission’s integrity and transparency assessment that “the Royal Thai Air Force, the Royal Thai Army, the Royal Thai Navy and the Supreme Command passed the criteria of 85 ITA points.” In addition, “the three main courts – the Central Administrative Court, the Court of Justice and the Constitutional Court – passed the assessment with an average score of 90.06 per cent,” while the “agencies of Parliament – the King Prajadhipok’s Institute, the Senate Secretariat and the House Secretariat – also passed the assessment with an average score of 95.55 per cent.”

No doubt many choked on their coffee or rice soup when reading this. What about secret trials, corrupt commission payments, torture, buying parties and parliamentarians, convicted drug dealers in parliament, illegal military coups, the Constitutional Court’s partisanship, and so on and so on?

As it turns out, the NACC’s ITA is largely a box-ticking effort at managerialism in administration. And, as the Bangkok Post points out, even this bureaucratic transparency washing exercise failed to meet the NACC’s own targets.

So, no, the world has not been turned upside down, except for some box-tickers. These agencies are as corrupt as they have ever been and having a military-backed regime in place just makes it all less transparent.





Holding up the keystone

28 07 2022

This is the royalist silly season, when they get in a lather of joy and watch eagle-eyed for any “threats” to their beloved monarchy. This is all about keeping a crumbly keystone in place: the ruling elite’s keystone.

Propaganda about the palace becomes even more unbelievable than usual and the self-appointed guardians of the ruling class become especially watchful.

So it is that Sonthiya Sawasdee is at it again, finding threats to the monarchy coming from all directions. It was only a week ago that he decided the military-monarchy regime needed to be protected from comparisons with Sri Lanka, leading to a mad claim of sedition. Sonthiya’s other royalist barking was linked in that post.

Now he’s decided that parliamentarians of the opposition variety need more taming. Of course, his target is the usual suspects from Move Forward and the progressive movement. Prachatai reports that Sonthiya has made a complaint to the National Anti-Corruption Commission over an alleged “serious ethical breach.”

He was not amused when said Move Forward MPs held photos of two activists currently imprisoned under Article 112. The act did not bring down the house, even in the seemingly shoddily constructed parliament building, but Sonthiya spied an attempt to bring down the sky.

He complained that the whole party is at fault. He claims “raising portraits of Article 112 prisoners, that’s a serious ethical breach.”

To reasonable people, it is not clear how this is a breach, but Sonthiya is not reasonable and seems to believe that attacks on 112 are attacks on the palace.

Sonthaya and his brethren worry that any chips being taken out of the keystone will bring the whole thing down and with it their access to small pieces of power, nepotism, impunity, and rewards.





Crooked business as usual

10 12 2021

In an editorial, the Bangkok Post gets very excited, claiming that the politicized justice system has suddenly given cause for optimism that the courts will get better:

On Wednesday, Thais witnessed justice being served fair and square. In a trial that will be remembered as a landmark environmental case, the Supreme Court handed down jail terms of about three years to construction tycoon Premchai Karnasutra and two accomplices for poaching in Thungyai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary.

The editorial continues:

For those who believe in the much-used local adage that “Thai jails are only for locking up poor people”, the verdict came as a surprise. Understandably, Thais have felt demoralised in the past after witnessing rich and powerful people … running away from court, escaping the country.

Therefore, watching the billionaire being jailed as he was on Wednesday after a long court case, people feel inspired to hope that the justice system will work better….

The Post is grasping at straws and trying to be encouraging. But Premchai’s case is an exception.

Think about the National Anti‑Corruption Commission (NACC). This week it was chirping that it had “closed more than 4,500 cases this year…”. NACC chairman and buddy to The Watchman, Pol Gen Watcharapol Prasarnrajkit claimed great success while Prime Minister Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha “pledged to create a transparent government and a society free of corruption…”.

But what of the big cases?

Indeed, as Premchai was sentenced, the Bangkok Post reported that the NACC had “rejected a petition by the Move Forward Party (MFP) calling for a probe into the ethical conduct of Thamanat Prompow over his narcotics conviction in Australia.” Of course, this could not happen, especially given Thammanat’s close relationship with Gen Prawit Wongsuwan.

NACC secretary-general Niwatchai Kasemmongkol said that “based on the Constitutional Court’s ruling on May 5 that Capt Thamanat, a Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) MP for Phayao and former deputy agriculture and cooperatives minister, was eligible to hold his MP and ministerial positions despite having served four years in an Australian prison.”

Niwatchai added that as the heroin trafficking conviction “took place before Capt Thamanat held the positions and before the code of ethics took effect,” no probe could be considered. An ethics probe into ethical conduct can only be launched when an MP or cabinet minister violates the code of ethics while in office…”. And, for good measure, he explained that “[a]ny action committed by an MP or minister before they took office does not warrant an inquiry…”.

Pedophiles, murderers, and drug smugglers all have their slates wiped clean.

Protecting the powerful criminals continued in another report where the NACC said it aimed “to wrap up the hit-and-run case against Red Bull scion Vorayuth … Yoovidhya within 14 months, with the completion expected by the end of 2022.”

We do note that 14 months means 2023…. But, then, this claim by the NACC is just another cover-up. Most of the charges will have expired by then.

Double standards are the rule for the rich and powerful.





Corrupt+corrupt=very corrupt

29 10 2021

Officially declared non-corrupt by the hopelessly biased regime poodle known as the National Anti-Corruption Commission, Gen Prawit Wongsuwan has again worked to maintain the status of convicted heroin trafficker, former murder suspect, and former deputy minister Thammanat Prompao.

He does this because Thammanat is his “boy” and because Thammanat is critical for electioneering in the north and northeast. Gen Prawit knows that without Thammanat , the Palang Pracharath Party may lose an election, even if held in the usual unfair manner. So the crooked Thammanat gets another free political pass.

Last month, Thammanat and Narumon Pinyosinwat were sacked from cabinet by Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha for working against him as premier. But due to Gen Prawit’s support he stayed on as secretary-general of Palang Pracharath. That was appropriate as it meant a corruption maintained its hold over a corrupt party.

On Thursday, following a crisis party meeting, Gen Prawit announced “that no change was made to the executive team.” That is, the heroin smuggler kept his position.

Intense internal conflict “was resolved at a meeting on Wednesday between the party leader, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, and the party’s MPs…”. It seems Gen Prawit threratened to resign if Thammanat was not kept on. As the Bangkok Post explained: “Gen Prawit Wongsuwon has intervened as leader of the ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) to resolve an internal conflict involving controversial figure Capt Thamanat Prompow by ensuring he stays on as its secretary-general.”

It now remains to be seen how Thammanat and his faction of cronies will respond. He may be willing to bring down the regime to get his snout ever deeper into the public trough.





Anti-corruption lapdog

15 10 2021

In an editorial, the Bangkok Post chastises the completely hopeless National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) for being a regime lapdog. The sad thing is that this editorial could have been written years ago. The NACC is not worth the heat off buffalo manure.

In this case – only the most recent of a score of such cases – the Post focuses on the clearing  of Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha’s brother, Gen Preecha, on charges of concealing assets.

On Monday, the NACC commissioners voted 8-1 to clear  against Gen Preecha Chan-o-cha, when just a few months ago “the NACC had a different view with all nine commissioners in June unanimously agreeing there were grounds to summon Gen Preecha for questioning.”

Gen Preecha, now appointed by his brother as a senator, “was accused of falsely declaring his assets and liabilities while serving with the National Legislative Assembly” that served the military junta.

Quite simply, Gen Preecha failed “to include his house in Phitsanulok and bank accounts belonging to his wife, Pongpuan, in the couple’s assets list.”

Very basic stuff. He’s either a stupid duffer or, more likely, a creep who thinks he has impunity to do what he wants.

The NACC seems to have decided he’s a stupid duffer, ruling this week that he “had no intention to hide his wealth, and did not gain any benefits from doing so.”

Clean hands?

The now allegedly stupid Gen Preecha had, says the NACC, “misunderstood the asset declaration rule simply because the house in question was under construction at that time.” He still owned it, but the NACC seems to think he just “forgot” it was an asset.

The Post urges the NACC to become “more transparent and, by way of example, it can answer some questions about what criteria it used in judging Gen Preecha’s intentions.” But, of course, the NACC seems likely to refuse to its “investigation.” That’s what it usually does when protecting the regime and its members.

And who can forget that the NACC has still refused to “comply with the Administrative Court’s order for it to release details about its probe into the luxury watches case involving Gen Prawit [Wongsuwan], with the NACC explaining that it cannot disclose details of witness accounts because it might prompt lawsuits.”

Or, it might have to conjure an unbelievable story to cover its tracks and those of regime bosses.

The Post says that: “By failing to be accountable, the commission will become part of the problem it’s trying to solve.” It has been a part of the “problem” for years. It is a joke permitting “good” people/crooks/creeps to feast on the taxpayer.

For that, presumably the commissioners have been or will be rewarded.





Reflecting the regime V

22 09 2021

The Bangkok Post has an editorial that begins:

The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has no reason to stall the Administrative Court’s order for it to release details about its probe into the luxury watches case involving Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwon.

The NACC suffered a setback already when the court agreed with an online media outlet that requested the information.

It goes on to say that if the hopeless NACC “makes a further attempt to keep under wraps information about the probe which led to its decision to dismiss accusations that Gen Prawit gave a false wealth declaration by failing to include 22 luxury watches and rings,” then it “will risk losing [its]… credibility in performing their duties as graftbusters.”

We think the Post editors have lost their marbles. No one thinks the NACC has any credibility. It is a puppet organization. It is a sham anti-corruption organization.

Gen Prayuth and the NACC boss

The Post does list the feeble mumblings of senior NACC officials trying to avoid the court order. As usual, the regime and its puppets show no respect for the law.

Meanwhile, the reports of corruption and impunity are so common that no one seems to be flabbergasted any more. It is normal that the pigs feast.

How’s the “former Pol Col Thitisan “Joe Ferrari” Utthanaphon” coming along? Recall that Joe murdered a man. We were told that he was immediately a “former” cop after the killing. But, then, the “Police Serious Disciplinary Review Board has filed a complaint against …[Joe] and six subordinates…”. Deputy Inspector General Sarawut Kanpanich described them as “the seven police officers,” saying they “had committed serious disciplinary offences. ” His Board is about to “consider the evidence plus clarifications before presenting it to police chief Suwat Chaengyodsuk for a final decision on whether the accused should be discharged from office or fired.” The cover-up continues. Where’s the NACC?

And how about the long streak of stinking buffalo manure that is the case involving Red Bull heir Vorayuth Yoovidhya? He killed a policeman and fled the scene.

After years of cover-ups, delays, and deliberate incompetence, Nate Naksuk, a former deputy attorney general, decided “to drop charges against the Red Bull scion in the infamous 2012 hit-and-run case.” Rather than being investigated by the NACC, he’s “being probed for severe disciplinary wrongdoings…”.

This a a bit of a turnaround after an earlier committee “ruled … that Mr Nate did not commit serious disciplinary violations over his decision not to indict the Red Bull heir…”. The Public Prosecutor Commission … meeting chaired by former attorney-general Pachara Yuttidhammadamrong” changed this decision. But only ” nine of the 13 commission members in attendance found that in deciding not to indict Mr Vorayuth, Mr Nate had acted without thorough judgement and had been careless.”

So off this small piece of the Red Bull collusion and cover-up goes off to yet another “probe team,” wasting more time, more money.

All of this stuff just goes on and on. Its boringly predictable, murky, and gives criminals and the corrupt carte blanche.

Thank the military for this state of lawlessness.





The rotten system II

17 09 2021

The smell from the rotten system is overpowering.

Remember the case of Gen Prawit Wongsuwan and his two dozen luxury watches? He said he had borrowed the watches from a former classmate, Patthawat Suksriwong, who was dead, but that he had returned them. Remember how the National Anti-Corruption Commission exonerated him on unexplained – some might say, bogus – grounds?

That smelly story is back. Thai PBS reports that the “The Central Administrative Court has ordered Thailand’s anti-graft watchdog, the … NACC…, to reveal its findings from an investigation into the expensive wristwatches seen being worn in public by Deputy Prime Minister Prawit…”.

The court seems to recognize that the NACC is so politically-biased that it is widely viewed as a regime tool when it “ruled that, the disclosure of the findings…, including witness testimonies and Gen Prawit’s own testimonies, will demonstrate the transparency and accountability of the NACC and will enhance public trust and confidence in the agency.”

The NACC says it is considering what to do. We might guess that it is seeking advice from the likes of regime legal fixer Wissanu Krea-ngam and Gen Prawit himself.

Remember Pol Col Thitisan Uttanapol or “Joe Ferrari,” recently caught on camera suffocating a man to death with plastic bags while “interrogating” a suspect and trying to extort money? You might think that Joe learned his plastic bag trick from watching gangster movies. But it seems he may have been trained by the police. Prachatai reports on “the case of Somsak Chuenchit and his 12-year effort to bring the police officers who tortured his son by beating and suffocating him with plastic bags during an interrogation.” The report states:

On 28 January 2009, Ritthirong ‘Shop’ Chuenchit ,18, was returning from a cinema in Prachinburi Province with a friend when he was stopped by the police. His clothing and motorcycle helmet reportedly fit the description given to police by a woman who had earlier been the victim of a gold necklace-snatching.

At the police station, the woman identified Ritthirong as the person who had taken her necklace. Ignoring his assertion of innocence, the interrogating officers beat the handcuffed youth and then suffocated him in a bid to determine where the necklace was hidden. Whenever Ritthirong chewed holes in the plastic bags to breathe, more were placed over his head.

Chuenchit survived but was framed and traumatized.

Remember the activists kept in jail for months when arrested and refused bail? Prachatai reports that the Court of Appeal granted bail to activists Phromsorn Weerathamjaree, Parit Chiwarak, Panupong Jadnok, Thatchapong Kaedam, and Nutchanon Pairoj on 15 September, after having been denied bail several times. Several other activists continue to be detained without bail, including Arnon Nampa and Jatuphat Boonpattararaksa. A rotten regime prefers that its opponents remain in jail, face never-ending repression and under threat.

The regime is rotten, the system is rotten.





Further updated: Rich cop revs up

28 08 2021

Pol Col Thitisan “Joe” Uttanapol or “Joe Ferrari,” who was caught on camera suffocating a man to death, is doing all the things corrupt “good people” do when in a spot of bother.

Muddying the waters and getting some sympathy from other “good people.” The most notable report is of lawyer Sittha Biabangkerd, who released the video of the murder, being hit with a defamation complaint and other charges, in a case that was filed on Friday. The report states:

The defamation suit was filed against him by Decha Kittiwitthayanun, a lawyer who was also in possession of the viral video before it was released on social media.

“I have filed a complaint to prosecute Mr Sittha for defamation and violation of the Computer Crime Act after he accused me of trying to blackmail the former chief of police at Muang Nakhon Sawan police station,” he said.

Sittha told the media on Tuesday that he got the clip from a low-ranking officer and before he released the clip, the low-ranking officer has sent the video to Decha first but he refused to release… it to the public because we wanted to blackmail Joe for money.

Of course, the obvious question is why Decha sat on the video. He says he “… decided not to make it public because the case was under investigation and he does not want to tamper with the evidence.” Right….

Clipped from the Bangkok Post

Meanwhile, the dullards at the National Anti-Corruption Commission have brilliantly determined that there might just be something wrong with the fabulously wealth murderer, stating it “believes that Thitisan, also known on social media as “Jo Ferrari” from his lavish lifestyle as a sport car enthusiast, has become unusually wealthy…”. Wow, what a revelation! Now, will Joe be hung out to dry or will the NACC cover it up? Stay tuned.

As to muddying the waters, sources in the regime have let it be known that Joe may not be “unusually wealthy.” According to a graphic in the Bangkok Post, as a policeman “investigating” illegal car imports, Pol Col Thitisan made a mint getting “rewards” for seizing them. There are two problems with this. First, the Post does a simplistic calculation of rewards all accruing to Joe over almost 400 cars. That is very unlikely. Second, we are only surmising, but if Joe owned lots of luxury cars, we can’t help but wonder if there wasn’t a neat scam going on.

And when there’s a police scam, the illicit funds are shared all the way to the top. Reason enough for a cover-up.

Update 1: Many think the cover-up is well underway, facilitated by senior police (among others). The Bangkok Post reports that the “Lawyers Association of Thailand (LAT) … criticised senior officers for allowing Pol Col Thitisan to speak to reporters during the press conference at the CSD on Thursday night.”

The LAT pointed out that the police acted illegally: “The remarks could influence public feeling or investigators, while damaged parties and witnesses may also be pressured, which could affect the justice process…”.

More pointedly, the LAT demanded that “investigators … find out who drove Pol Col Thitisan to meet Pol Maj Gen Ekarak Limsangkat, deputy commissioner of the Provincial Police Region 6, in Chon Buri last Wednesday.” Of course, “Pol Maj Gen Ekarak told the press conference that he could not remember the licence plate number of the white car which Pol Col Thitisan left.” This screams collusion. As we said, the corruption feeds the system, right to the very top.

Naturally enough, Joe Ferrari has denied all charges.

Update 2: The cover-up gains momentum, with Thai Enquirer reporting that “defense team and senior police officers close to Pol Col Thitisant “Joe Ferrari” Uttanapol plan on arguing that Thitisant was only guilty of manslaughter and not murder…. [with] police investigators conducting official inquiries into the matter plan[ning] on recommending a manslaughter case instead of second-degree murder charges.” One officer stated: “I think they’re prepared for the public backlash should they go through with it but [it is] apparent Khun Thitisant has friends in high places…”.

When Pol Col Thitisan’s lawyers denied all charges they opened the way for the downgrading of charges and opened the possibility of a reduced or suspended jail sentence. The report states: “It is understood that Thitisant might agree to manslaughter charges should the Office of the Attorney General accept the police’s recommendation.”

This is the usual way that such cases go; it is essentially, standard practice.It also raised questions about just how high the murderer’s connections go.








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