AHRC on the Judiciary
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AHRC on the Judiciary

In an update to my posts about the Prem allegations here and here, the Asian Human Rights Commission have the following to say:
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The recording is remarkable not only because it brings out the full truth of the extent to which the senior judiciary in Thailand has been subordinated to other parts of government but also because it shows how far removed it has been throughout the entire political and constitutional crisis from basic notions of legality. At no point does the upholding of justice, rather than political expediency, appear to have seriously entered the minds of its most senior persons. Rather, the contents of the recording boil down to this: a top judge and court official together with a top government officer make a deal to get some people to quit their jobs, in exchange for which the courts will dispense with criminal procedure and justice and instead just let them off the hook. There is no thought of law here, just horse trading. The court is anyway subject to daily interference by outsiders. And that was before the September 19 coup: the May 30 special tribunal verdict against the former ruling party is an indication of how much worse things have become since, and how much worse they are yet to become.
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/>Open collusion and political case fixing between two top jurists and a senior government official is surely a matter of immense national concern. Any attempt to keep the facts shut up is as much an act of folly as it is sheer madness. The implications of this recording can either be addressed responsibly and intelligently, in the open, or kept under wraps and allowed to fester and develo! p into further problems for the ordinary people. Ultimately, the choice is not just that of a military regime; it is that of every concerned person in Thailand.

/>COMMENT: Exactly.
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/>The Court obviously took this on-board today:
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The Criminal Court on Thursday found Thana Benchathikul, lawyer of deposed premier Thaksin Shinawarta, guilty of contempt of court from a case last year.
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/>Mr Thana faced a maximum penalty of one year imprisonment and a fined of 140,000 baht.
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/>Because he confessed the punishment was cut in half and the jail term was suspended.
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/>Mr Thana was charged after he gave an interview criticising the Criminal Court over its verdicts on the jailing of three election commissioners – chief Wassana Permlap, Prinya Nakchudtree and Veerachai Naewboonnien.
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/>The men were sentenced to four years in prison for mishandling the April 2, 2006, election.
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/>It is against the law to criticise the verdicts of Thai criminal courts
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/>COMMENT: Respecting the verdict is one thing, but not being able to criticise the court’s decision. Given all the power they will likely have under the proposed constitutional draft, I find this disturbing. Criticise them and you will be jailed.