Go Directly To Jail, Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200
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Go Directly To Jail, Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200

Yesterday, the Criminal Court handed down a decision against 3 Election Commissioners. The result: 4 years in jail and of voting rights for 10 years. The three applied for bail. The Bangkok Post reports:
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Citing the mishandling of the elections and a possibility that they would again if they returned to work while the case was pending in the Appeals Court, the court rejected the bail requests.
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/>”With the above reason, the court believes that if the three defendants are released during the appeal process they will organise an election that is likely to be unfair and not in an orderly fashion,” said the court.

The Bangkok Post editorial gives an indication on why they were denied bail:
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…the loss of voting rights for 10 years _ and the fact they were held in custody even for a single day _ automatically disqualifies them; they should vacate the posts with immediate effect, as clearly specified in Article 141 of the Constitution

/>Unsurprisingly, legal experts have questioned the denial of bail. Legal expert Kaewsan Atibodhi has stated that the judges had “no legal grounds” to deny them bail. I wonder, will the judges now also be tried and jailed?
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/>COMMENT: I really wasn’t that concerned about the contrived decision to invalidate the election. I probably wouldn’t have been so concerned if the Election Commissioners had been removed for their positions, but to jail them for 4 years and then not grant them bail whiich has lead to speculation that it was done so as to remove the Election Commissioners for their positions. Someone wake me up when we stop playing monopoly. Sending people to jail as part of a contrived decision is taking things too far.
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/>You might ask what has happened to the other Election Commissioner who resigned, well nothing (yes, I do realise the issue in question did not concern him). He didn’t have the temerity not to resign despite calls from judges to do so. What authority judges have to openly suggest that someone resign, well I will leave that up to you. Questioning of decisions of politicans is openly allowed, but not judges as you can be subject to contempt of court.
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/>Much more to come later today. I will make significant changes to this post as time permits.
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/>UPDATE: Thou shalt not criticse the Judiciary! The Nation reports:
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Criminal Court chief judge Amnuay Thanthara has instructed court officials to take legal action against protesters for having criticised the ruling against the three former election commissioners.
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/>Court officials have seen a video tape of TV station and found that several protesters used impolite words to criticise the court so the court officials would file complaint with police to take action against them for contempt of court.
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/>Those, whose strong criticism against the ruling has been published by newspapers, will also face the legal action, courts officials said.

/>COMMENT: At least with politicians you can vote them out of office if you don’t like them, but you are stuck with the judiciary. The judiciary are becoming a power unto themselves.