Wednesday, January 24, 2018
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THE CRIMINAL case against former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra for her role in the rice-pledging scheme technically closed on Friday when neither Yingluck nor the prosecutor submitted an appeal, her lawyer and the prosecutor both confirmed yesterday.

Yingluck, who is reportedly in the United Kingdom, was sentenced to five years in jail for her negligence in preventing corruption and irregularities in her government’s rice-pledging scheme before the 2014 coup.

The Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Political Office Holders convicted her in absentia and announced her prison sentence on September 27. The law allows her to appeal within 30 days of the date of the verdict delivery, but she would have to launch the appeal in person from inside Thailand.

“We have not yet received contact from her, therefore we did not make any request to the court to extend the period of appeal,” said her lawyer Norawit Lalang. “As we did not make an appeal, the case is technically final.”

Yingluck fled the country a few days before the court had originally been due to deliver its verdict on August 25 and Norawit said he had received no contact from his client since then.

The court issued an arrest warrant following her failure to turn up in August and delivered its verdict in absentia when she again missed her court appearance on September 27.

Location unknown’

State prosecutor Surasak Tritrattrakul said that since neither of the involved parties had made any appeals to the court, the case was now final and authorities would enforce the verdict to compel Yingluck to serve her sentence.

However, Yingluck’s location is still unknown, authorities have said. Local media reports, citing unnamed sources, have said she is in London, where her brother Thaksin Shinawatra has a home. While some reports said she was seeking political asylum in the UK, Thai officials were unable to verify the claim.

Police have said they have asked cooperation from Interpol to force Yingluck to be returned to Thailand to serve her sentence but there still remained no clear clues about her whereabouts.

The junta has shifted blame for her disappearance to a police officer. Pol Colonel Chairit Anurit of the Metropolitan Police allegedly drove Yingluck to Sa Kaew province on August 23 and has been dismissed from duty.

This follows a police fact-finding committee’s ruling that the officer committed a grave disciplinary offence. He had also committed a lesser breach of the code of conduct for illegal use of a vehicle, the committee ruled.

Yingluck is not the only person convicted in the controversial case – ministers in her cabinet and many senior government officials were found to be involved in the fraud, which cost the country hundreds of billions of baht.

Yingluck’s former commerce minister Boonsong Teriyapirom was jailed for 42 years and former deputy commerce minister Phumi Saraphol was sentenced to 36 years.

Both men have submitted appeals to the court.

Yingluck verdict ‘still being read’ at 2pm

Posted by pakin On September - 27 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Deputy spokesman of Pheu Thai Party Wim Rungwatanachinda told reporters the verdict in the case against former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra was still being read by the Supreme Court as of 2pm on Wednesday.

He had left the courtroom to talk to reporters

The Supreme Court took almost three hours to read the verdict on the fugitive former prime minister’s alleged negligence in her government’s rice-pledging scheme.

However, at 2pm, there was rumour that the court had finished reading the verdict.

 

Celebrities caught using drugs face uncertain fate

Posted by pakin On September - 21 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

FORMER MISS TEEN THAILAND and now-disgraced actress Amelia Jacobs, who was arrested on drug-related charges early on Tuesday morning, is not the first – and will not be the last – Thai star who has seen a bright future threatened by involvement with illegal drugs.

Indeed, the police blotter is littered with examples of celebrities being caught with narcotics, ending in lengthy jail sentences and hefty fines, although in some cases, canny public relations and efforts to rehabilitate have saved careers that seemed beyond repair.

Just this last March, the Supreme Court upheld a verdict against Chatchaya Ramos, or “Yuyee”, formerly a popular model, sentencing her to 15 years and three months in jail for smuggling cocaine into the country in November 2012.

During a search at Don Mueang International Airport, authorities found 251 milligrams of cocaine concealed in her suitcase. In addition to the jail sentence, she was also fined Bt1.5 million.

However, the trail of careers in peril reaches back years. In 2013, the young actress Sutatta “Punpun” Udomsilp saw all of her contracts suspended after photos of her using meth were leaked to the public and her family admitted that she used drugs.

However, the young celebrity stopped using drugs before returning to act in movies again and regaining her popularity as a teen idol.

In another particularly high-profile case in December 2011, renowned rockstar Seksan “Sek Loso” Sukpimai came out to admit that he used “ice” after his estranged wife at the time, Wiphakorn Sookpimay, posted on Facebook photos of him consuming drugs.

He too was able to restore his image after spending months in rehabilitation and then returning to the music arena where he has founded and managed many related businesses. He also divorced Wiphakorn.

In March the previous year, the once-rising star Athip Nana, or “Ball”, was arrested after police found him in possession of marijuana and cocaine.

He was sentenced to one year and three months in jail, fined Bt12,000 and ordered to enter rehab. However, his sentence was suspended for two years.

In the same year, a female comedian known as Nok Choenyim was arrested for trying to smuggle 560 milligrams of “ice”, 580 milligrams of marijuana and drug paraphernalia from Cambodia to Thailand. It was the second time she was charged for such an offence.

Going all the way back to 2004, the popular young singer Joyce Triumph Kingdoms and her boyfriend were arrested and charged with possession of 4,000 “yaba” amphetamine tablets with intent to sell.

 

Huge Japanese business delegation focuses on EEC

Posted by pakin On September - 12 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

About 50% of FDI for first half of the year comes from single economic partner.

AS A MASSIVE delegation from Japan visits the Kingdom, Thailand expected them to boost investment in infrastructure, particularly for dual-rail, high-speed trains, by next year to steer development in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said yesterday.

Other infrastructure projects encouraged by Prayut included ports, aviation and digital systems in line with the 10 new industrial groups targeted to become Thailand’s economic growth engines. “The first five years will focus on these developments. I look to Japan as a good example of train development,” Prayut said.

“In the future, there will also be developments in the West, North and the South. We have to integrate all these plans to connect investments and services, not only among regional provinces but also with CLMV countries,” he said, referring to the grouping of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.

The Thai government also expected to facilitate development in the EEC by creating fast tracks such as encouraging more “public-private-people” cooperation, he said.

Thailand plans to invest about Bt700 billion to construct and develop infrastructure in the EEC as part of a five-year plan.

The Kingdom also looked forward to new cooperation and exchanges in industry, innovation and technology as well as support for SMEs, the premier said.

With Japanese SMEs contributing greatly to that country’s economy, accounting for more than 90 per cent of businesses in Japan, Prayut said he expected that they and around 3 million Thai SMEs could help to support each other in creating jobs.

Prayut welcomed at Government House yesterday Hiroshige Seko, Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Investment, along with 570 high-level Japanese business people, representatives from economic organisations and SME entrepreneurs who are visiting Thailand from yesterday until tomorrow.

Seko referred to Thailand’s crucial role as Asean’s industrial hub, which Japanese companies have utilised for a long time. “The numbers of Japanese research and development facilities in Thailand is one example,” the minister said. “Our economic-centric cooperation is going to step up as high-level industry development.”

 

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