Monday, April 9, 2007

The Nation: Shameless Editorial Supporting the Criminalization of Politics


The Nation

Landmark case sets a precedent

A successful trial against Thaksin's wife and her brother on tax charges could lead to reduced corruption

The landmark lawsuit filed by the Office of the Attorney-General (OAG) against Pojaman Shinawatra, the wife of Thaksin Shinawatra, Banaphot Damapong, her brother, and Kanchanapa Honghern, her secretary, on charges of tax evasion in connection with huge share transactions in 1997, is the first criminal case against the deposed prime minister's family. The case was accepted by the Criminal Court following a preliminary hearing yesterday morning.

The three defendants pled not guilty to the charges that they had conspired to fraudulently avoid paying hundreds of millions of baht in taxes. The Criminal Court granted them temporary release on bail at Bt5 million each after their arraignment. The trial date was scheduled for May 14.

The OAG has built the case around findings of the Assets Examination Committee (AEC), which had earlier investigated the tax-evasion charges against the trio and came to the conclusion that they had violated the Tax and Criminal Codes by evading tax obligations linked to the sale of their Shinawatra Computers and Communications shares that had taken place about a decade ago.

The AEC was created by the coup-makers who overthrew the Thaksin government on September 19, 2006. The military junta, now known as the Council for National Security, cited major corruption scandals that had taken place under Thaksin, among other charges, as justification for the power seizure.


This is a bullshit case. I have written about it already, so I am not going to repeat myself.

Did they probably break the law and avoid paying taxes? Yes. Does this case have anything to with tax evasion? Of course not. This is the criminalization of politics.

What is the prosecutor going to do when the defense calls upon the Chuan government officials who let this case slide back in 97?

My prediction is that nobody is going to get convicted in this case. This is nothing but a show trial to justify the coup.


Del said...

Fonzi - Are you really predicting or are you wishing? Those are two different things you know Fonzi.

Predicting work is usually done by Khmer voodoo shamans, the type Thaksin relied upon. Thaksin used a lot of Khmer voodoo shamans and tax advisers, got mixed up in the process, and now he got caught.

How did you term it Fonzi? 'Criminalization of politics'? Thaksin had clearly criminal intent during his rule . . . NOW that was criminal Thai politics. Is that what you really meant Fonzi?

Anonymous said...

The Nation's Thepchai Yong is in the same league as Thanong in serving the military junta. Just read Thepchai's piece on the PTV and his article shows he is happy to be the running dog of the junta. The difference is that Thepchai's article this time is not followed by a comment section. This is because previous articles by these two guys have always received strong response from critical and right-thinking readers. Of course both men can easily accuse those who disagree with them as pro-Thaksin men.....

Fonzi said...


You must belong to the "shoot first, ask questions later" crowd.


Even in Thailand, problems and all, the Shins will still have their day in court, a notion that you obviously can't comprehend.

hobby said...

I'm not so sure that it was merely tax avoidance, as some of the other deals done by the Shin's clearly smack of tax evasion.
According to the definitions I learn't many years ago, the deceipt behind the use of nominees (such as maids) fits into the category of tax evasion.

In any case, even if it was 'only' tax avoidance, they deserve to face proper punishment.
It's also not a good example of how a PM should behave (through his family, but we know who pulls the strings)
But it seems I'm in the minority in caring about such things!

Also, I disagree with your trying to push the blame back to Chuan because I've explained in the other threads how tax cases can take time, and things would have been quashed during the Thaksin reign.

Del said...

Fonzi - 'shoot first questions later', your term, together with your earlier 'criminalization of thai politics' truly belong to your patron Thaksin Shinawatra the extra-judicial ex-PM Thailand. Thaksin ordered the execution, WITHOUT DUE PROCESS, of thousands of very poor villagers, defenseless, merely suspects and blacklisted by some uneducated village police hicks. That was the the real 'shoot first questions later' criminal politics of your paymaster Thaksin Fonzi!

Now Thaksin's family of tax cheaters could be headed for jail, and Thaksin himself may NOT that be too far behind. That must have been what you meant by FRIGHTENING!
(afraid perhaps Fonzi who will be your next paymaster?)

Paid stooges of Thaksin are truly frightened. It is no wonder there were only a handful of protesters at Sanam Luang lately. No credibility these Thaksin paid sycophants and cohorts.

Fonzi said...


The junta that you love so much was responsible for all the murders you are talking about.

Thaksin may have given the orders, but your military and police buddies, those in power now, actually pulled the triggers.

And to prosecute Thaksin's family for tax crimes because of his war on drug policies is pure lunacy.

Yes, you are frightening.


1997 was the year of the tax crime.

It took the Chuan gov't over 3 years to try to find evidence to prosecute?

Plus, another ten years and a coup.

All of this political brouhaha for 1997 tax evasion?

Funny how the mind justifies their hatred of people.

Anonymous said...

Guys. As a writer to the Nations 'Letters' said a while ago, the top 10% will not allow anyone on their number to do jail time. Fines, smacks on the wrist, allowed to go into exile etc etc. So many work-arounds available int his country to avoid doing jail time. I agree with him. Sure the Shins were corrupt (imho) sure they will get due process. But can you really see Thaksin or Pojaman doing jail time? If you can I would like to see what you are smoking.

And hasnt Sudarat been a good quiet girl? Common consent suggests she was the most 'hungry' in a ravenous cabinet while the big Shin was there. Never hear of or from her. That is one lady who *should* do hard jail time. But the fix was in before she even jetted back home.

hobby said...

Fonzi said: Funny how the mind justifies their hatred of people

It's not a matter of hatred - I'm in favor of prosecuting them all if they did wrong - Thaksin is just the latest one to get away with it in a big way.

Whilst I agree the Chuan government should have investigated the matter, I still maintain that it is most unlikely it would have been finalised before Thaksin came to power, and therefore it is proper to pursue the matter now, as nothing was going to happen while Thaksin was in control.

Del said...

Fonzi - Are you sure your name should not be spelled with a "P" and not with an "F"? Because your posters for Thaksin sound very like pyramid scam offers!

There are indeed certain very wicked people who do not deserve second chances and Thaksin Shinawatra belongs in this group. Because those thousands of defenseless very poor villagers were extrajudicially killed without due process - - not allowed their day in court, not even read their rights and just shot between their eyes! Thaksin and those police and army generals who abetted in this horrific crime all deserve to be arrested and jailed. If certain generals in the current junta were part of the extrajudicial killings during Thaksin's rule, then they too should be arrested - - and that is my wish and NOT my prediction Mr. Ponzi!

Ad said...

Give Thaksin second or third chances and he will just extrajudicially slaughter more, corrupt more, and cheat on taxes more.

Giving Thaksin a second chance is very dangerous. He will next time around truly split the Kingdom of Thailand apart . . and those who oppose him will be this time around blacklisted and permanently deleted.

Fonzi said...


Can you make the intellectual distinction between Thaksin and his alleged crimes during the war on drugs and a tax evasion case against his wife and brother in law for a crime that occurred ten years ago?

You have a serious reading comprehension problem and have trouble making making distinctions between particular crimes.

But it shouldn't matter to you, you believe in the criminalization of politics when it comes to your political enemies.

Your political philosophy is no different than Thaksin who made policy and the generals who pulled the trigger.