The audio clip

1 09 2009

Further to PPT’s updated post on the allegedly faked clip of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva ordering a violent crackdown on protesters at Songkhran, the Bangkok Post (1 September 2009: “SC Asset staff held over PM riot tape”) has further details of the Democrat Party’s response.

Following the arrest of two employees of the  SC Asset Corporation, charged with disseminating the controversial audio clip,police raided the company’s office. The company is still controlled by the Shinawatra family. The employees are said to be in “breach of the Computer Act.” Should this be Computer Crime Act? “A police source said the two were not responsible for producing or doctoring the clip. They were only accused of forwarding the clip through the email system at SC Asset.” SC Asset denies any connection to the clip.

In fact, the police believe that the CD of the clip was obtained at a bus stop and the employees then distributed it by email. Disseminating the clip was “believed” to be a crime. It is certainly a warning to others about distributing political materials by email.

The police are also seeking to link this alleged crime to red shirts especially in Udon Thani, where the clip was broadcast on community radio.

The Puea Thai Party has also denied any involvement with the distribution of the clip.

Update 1: Chalerm Yubamrung has suggested that the audio clip may not be a fake. Whether he believes this, it has certainly set a cat amongst the Democrat Party pigeons. In the Bangkok Post (2 September 2009: “Govt to explain editing of PM’s tape”) the government is rushing to put together a television clip of the prime minister’s explanations for wide distribution and again threatening the dissolution of the Phuea Thai Party. This is suggesting that the political fallout has been deep.

Update 2: It is interesting that Chalerm seems to think that the clip is real or that there is great political mileage to be gained by using it. He tried to get it played in parliament, but Newin Chidchob’s dad as House Speaker refused to allow it (even though he wasn’t in the chair at the time), so Chalerm began to read it out. He was stopped by Democrat Party parliamentarians (Bangkok Post, 3 September 2009). Abhisit, also reported in the Bangkok Post of the same date, in responding to Chalerm stated: “There is a voice of another person later and it was edited to make the clip more concise.” Abhisit added that: “The clip contains my voice from the ‘Confidence in Thailand with Prime Minister Abhisit’ programme recorded in April 19 at Government House and April 26.” He also “questioned Mr Chalerm’s motive in filing this motion and said his motion was nonsense.”








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