Sopon vs Tulsie on the Sapling Verdict
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Sopon vs Tulsie on the Sapling Verdict

Sopon in The Nation:
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It was an arduous effort by the investigation commission, which compiled a huge stack of paper serving what it regarded as solid evidence to prove the defendants guilty. The commission will have to wait for the results of other cases. The defeat in this case might bode ill for the rest.
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This is a landmark decision by the Supreme Court. The presiding judges read the verdict in detail, leaving no doubt whatsoever. However, the verdict also confirmed reports that some of the key defendants had celebrated in advance. A big party was also expected last night.
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How will Thaksin and his cronies react to the verdict? His view should be known soon enough on Twitter. But he cannot say again that the judicial system has been biased against him and his people.
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BP: Against him and his cronies? Were any of the people who were acquitted yesterday part of the current Thaksin inner circle? There may be a few who are still aligned with Puea Thai, but most of them jumped ship in 2006 and last year, Newin and Somkid in particular so am not sure that this judgment qualifies as proof that the judicial system is not biased against Thaksin. A cynic would say that Newin might be facing a different fate if he had not jumped ship.
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Tulsie has a different view:
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Newin Chidchob again fought back tears yesterday. The ones not knowing whether to laugh or cry, though, are his political enemies as well as some reluctant allies who must have become more anxious about the man’s resurgent star. He has overcome arguably his biggest, if not last, hurdle and there may be no stopping him now.
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Call him a real cat with nine lives.
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Many years ago, Newin comfortably survived a major election scandal although he had looked all but completely nailed when his canvassers were found with banknotes stapled to his promotional brochures. Then the BBC (Bangkok Bank of Commerce) debacle swept away his Group of 16 peers, leaving him the only one standing.
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He served Chuan Leekpai, and then Thaksin Shinawatra, earning both men’s private compliment and trust. When Thaksin was overthrown by the military, Newin was in disarray for a while, running for his life, but eventually bounced back to ally himself with his former hunters. The Democrats would not have been able to return to power but for an outrageous conspiracy between Newin’s group and the men in uniform.
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Then came the rubber-sapling case submitted to the Supreme Court by anti-corruption investigators. A “guilty” verdict would have ended everything, but after a glance at the crucial backdrops – the case was initiated when Newin was on Thaksin’s side but was concluded when he was not – yesterday’s ruling did not come as a shock.
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BP: Argh, a cynic as well although one cannot suggest too much lest one is slapped with a contempt of court charge, but put BP in the Tulsie camp.
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