Further updated: Sondhi still guilty

7 08 2014

sondhi-limthongkulFor those who are interested in the “fortunes” of People’s Alliance for Democracy leader and recent anti-democrat protest supporter, the Appeals Court has upheld a 20-year jail term for fraud.

One of the interesting things about the case – ” the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the prosecution indicted the four men in the Criminal Court, accusing Sondhi and the three former Manager directors of falsifying loan guarantee documents to secure a 1.08- billion-baht loan by the company from Krung Thai Bank without first seeking approval from the board of directors of Manager” – goes back to the origins of his opposition to Thaksin Shinawatra.

As always seems the case for anti-democrats and royalists, he is likely to appeal again and stay out of jail. Presumably the case eventually runs out of legal time and Sondhi never sees a cell. But, then, the current military dictatorship doesn’t trust Sondhi.

Update 1: The Bangkok Post states that Sondhi remains in jail awaiting bail.

Update 2: Khaosod has a niftier report that says Sondhi “will spend a day in the prison where dozens of Redshirt activists are currently being held…. He will be held at Section One, where Redshirt prisoners are also held,” said Sorasith Chongcharoen, director of Bangkok’s Remand Prison. PPT reckons the red shirt prisoners will be polite. Perhaps they ought not to be, especially as Sondhi’s rabid media has urged attacks on red shirt prisoners.

Forget the election

21 06 2011

It is probably already time to move beyond the election. Why? It seems that while the Democrat Party has seemingly descending into a negative campaign, this is not simply a desperate attempt to turn the flow of votes to the Puea Thai Party. Rather, this approach is part of a campaign to destabilize any pro-Thaksin Shinawatra government that results from the election.

The past few days have indicated the broad shape of this campaign. First, the military brass have shown that it won’t countenance a Puea Thai government for long.

Second, the attacks on red shirts that are unceasing and the provocations directed to them are attempting to provoke more violence. Keeping senior red shirts locked up continues as Jatuporn Promphan and Nisit Sinthuprai have again been denied bail. Keeping your opponents locked up may be a pathetic strategy, but it does show where the courts stand.

Third, there is a broad and coordinated attack on Yingluck Shinawatra and Puea Thai. PPT has mentioned the Election Commission investigating “heckling.” The EC has now even encouraged Suthep Thaugsuban to lodge an official complaint. This approach is now going further, with the People’s Alliance for Democracy petitioning the EC to dissolve the Puea Thai Party. The reason given is that the party is said to be “under the directives of fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra who is under a five-year political ban.”

We don’t expect that this will go far as the EC would probably also need to dissolve Bhum Jai Thai and several others. PAD might like that, but we suspect it isn’t desirable to throw out potential political allies. Even so, we think the dissolution route is likely.

A further attack is the revived Securities and Exchange Commission investigation that we mentioned in an earlier post. It is now clear that the pressure on the SEC was not just from PAD’s Tul Sitthisomwong and the rabid anti-Thaksin lawyer Kaewsan Atibhodhi. The Bangkok Post reports that the pressure has come from caretaker Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij. He is said to have “demanded the Securities and Exchange Commission clarify within one week the legal position of Pheu Thai No.1 list candidate Yingluck Shinawatra.” Korn is apparently urging the SEC to reconsider the legality of Ms Yingluck’s shares report in the asset concealment case against Thaksin.” He stated: “The SEC has not clarified all questions…. My legal team inspecting the case has found evidence of possibly illegal acts.”

There are two items in this report that demand attention: (1) should a caretaker minister be making political orders? and (2) Korn is back in bed with his PAD buddies. Expect much more of this linking of the Democrat Party and its allies from 2005, even if some reckon PAD has gone off the party.

This is clearly the beginning of a campaign to render a Puea Thai government – if there is one – weak, prior to getting rid of it. If Thailand had ground hogs, it would feel like the movie and Bill Murray would play Prem Tinsulanonda.


Abhisit, red shirts and being premier

20 06 2011

Outgoing Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is getting very whiney about so-called bullying. The newspapers and television news are full of his pained whingeing that red shirts are harassing him and his chums while they campaign.

The Democrat Party-supporting media is making a big deal of the alleged harassment of prissy political campaigners. This article in The Nation is an example. Of course, the Democrat Party is desperately trying to provoke any incidents that they can claim are opposition violence.

Abhisit demanded that Puea Thai Party candidate Yingluck Shinawatra keep her supporters under control. When she responded that she can’t order people to do things or not to do other things, Abhisit became interesting. In The Nation, he expressed disappointment that Yingluck Shinawatra could not take any action to ensure that the Democrat Party didn’t get criticized by anyone. He also said that “if Yingluck could not control the behaviour of the red shirts she would not deserve the prime minister’s post.” Perhaps he thinks of his own example of how a premier should control red shirts? Blood in the streets.

Meanwhile, the backers of the Democrat Party are increasing their pressure on Puea Thai and Yingluck. The Bangkok Post reports that the Election Commission are, as demanded earlier in the day by Suthep Thaugsuban, investigating the alleged “bullying” that bothered Abhisit.

At the same time, the Bangkok Post also reports that the Securities and Exchange Commission has “reversed its earlier stance of indifference and decided to look into the allegation of false reporting of share transactions by Yingluck Shinawatra.” SEC secretary-general Thirachai Phuvanatnaranubala immediately proclaimed: “The SEC is not being pressured into this…”. No one could possibly believe this.

It seems desperate times demand desperate interventions by the elite.


The royalist battle with Thaksin is not over

29 06 2010

As the royalist and military-backed government had 12 red shirt leaders put away for a further 12 days, facing so-called terrorism charges, a full month after the military’s brutal crackdown and amid all the false talk of reconciliation, two reports show that the royalist battle with former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra is far from over.

One telling report is in the Bangkok Post, citing arch-royalist and Abhisit Vejjajiva favorite Vasit Dejkunjorn, the former deputy police chief and former royal police guard. He chaired a police reform committee under the post-2006 coup government led by on-again off-again privy councilor Surayud Chulanont and is now doing the same for the military’s latest prime minister, Abhisit.

Vasit and other royalists want the government to “enact an organic law that would empower the National Human Rights Commission to file lawsuits in the World Court against former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra for the extra-judicial killings” during the so-called war on drugs.

Vasit, who is no democrat, was speaking at the Sanya Dharmasakti Institute for Democracy, named after the privy councilor the king appointed prime minister following the 1973 ousting of a military regime he’d supported since 1958. It is a mystery why Thammasat University chose his name for an “institute” examining issues of democratic rule.

Vasit wants both civil and criminal cases brought against Thaksin and against those involved in what he calls “the May riots.” Another speaker, from the highly politicized Department of Special Investigation supported Vasit’s idea.

The second story, also in the Post, reveals that the “Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions has agreed to accept a false asset declaration case against ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.” This decision is based on the National Anti-Corruption Commission filing a case following the asset seizure ruling on 26 February.

That ruling said “that Thaksin was guilty of abuse of power and that 46.37 billion baht of his frozen assets should be confiscated.”

DSI chief Tharit Pengdit also said that his department – which appears to work with no independence at all – would take on yet another case involving “Shin Corp securities as a special case is based on the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions’s verdict on Feb 26 on the seizure of 46 billion baht in assets from Thaksin and his family after he was found guilty of launching policies to benefit his family’s telecommunication giant Shin Corp. Mr Tharit said the Securities and Exchange Commission has found former premier Thaksin and his ex-wife Potjaman na Pombejra guilty of violating local securities laws and the SEC has asked the DSI to take it up as a special case.”

In other words, the government is seeking to strip Thaksin and his family of every satang they hold. While yellow shirts are cheering this, those interested in anything approaching judicial independence must be aghast at the remarkable politicization of these agencies by the Abhisit Vejjajiva regime.

The cases are expected to be expedited.

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