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Surapong gets two years for issuing Thaksin’s passport

BANGKOK: Former foreign minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul has been sentenced to two years in prison for issuing a passport for Thaksin Shinawatra.

crimepolitics
By Bangkok Post

Wednesday 20 June 2018, 09:03AM


Former foreign minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul (right) arrives at the court for politicians to hear a ruling on his case yesterday (June 19). Ruangkrai Leekitwattana (left), a member of Pheu Thai Party’s legal team, accompanies him. Photo: Apichart Jinakul

Former foreign minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul (right) arrives at the court for politicians to hear a ruling on his case yesterday (June 19). Ruangkrai Leekitwattana (left), a member of Pheu Thai Party’s legal team, accompanies him. Photo: Apichart Jinakul

The court for politicians yesterday (June 19) ruled him guilty of malfeasance under Section 157 of the Criminal Code and the 2000 anti-corruption law.

Since he planned to appeal, the court later approved his request for temporary release on a bond of B5 million.

Prosecutors filed the suit against Surapong, who was also deputy prime minister in the Yingluck Shinawatra government, in March last year after the NACC found the case had ground a month earlier.

He was released on bail during the trial on a bond of B3mn and was prohibited from travelling abroad.

The court yesterday found Surapong, 65, had prepared to issue the passport for Thaksin from the application stage. He had a role in the review and removal of Thaksin’s name from the list of people who must be checked before a passport can be given. Such actions violate the 2005 passport regulation, it said.

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“The defendant cited a government policy which did not exist. His actions led to the issuance of the passport. This means the defendant, as a minister, aided and abetted Thanksin, who was on an arrest warrant on national security charges,” the court said in a statement.

His actions allowed Thaksin to travel freely and live abroad and the Thai government could not ask a country to expel or extradite him on the charge of not having a passport, read the statement.

“This weakened the judicial procedures and court sanctions. It also tarnished the reputation of the country.”

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Kurt | 20 June 2018 - 12:52:38

It is funny to read all this shuffling.  In a few years time, when democracy  restored,  Junta people are going through the same thai 'justice channels'. ( Court for generals)
Tables turn, laws  adjusted,  etc. Extreme Junta wealth finances get analysed and confiscated. Sub marines cancelled.

CaptainJack69 | 20 June 2018 - 12:33:33

That's the first time I've heard of someone being released on  bail AFTER being convicted of a crime and sentenced to prison.  He's planning to appeal? Good. You do that from prison.

CaptainJack69 | 20 June 2018 - 12:23:26

That's the first time I've ever heard of a "court for politicians". Is there different law applying to them or something? Or are their crimes considered so egregious that they warrant special treatment?  Or are there (ahem) 'other reasons' why the regular court system can't try these cases? Fills you with confidence doesn't it.

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