Thailand’s DSI goes after Jatuporn
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Thailand’s DSI goes after Jatuporn

The DSI, a Thai investigative agency who are investigating the the events of March-May 2010, have continually tried to revoke the bail of red shirt leader Jatuporn – June 23, 2010December 7, 2010, December 27, 2010, and January 12, 2011. MCOT:

This was the third time that the DSI chief has submitted the petition himself and the fourth time that the agency tried to revoke Mr Jatuporn’s bail.

The criminal court dismissed all previous requests by DSI to revoke bail for Mr Jatuporn, saying that that evidence submitted by the DSI provided insufficient grounds for revoking the Red Shirt leader’s bond.

However, the court prohibited Mr Jatuporn from giving interviews and distributing documents related to his media interviews. He is also barred from joining any gathering of over five persons and not allowed to speak to any group of more than five persons.

BP: DSI chief Tharit has previous stated that Jatuporn is “[p]rotected by (parliamentary) immunity, he can also speak about the case in the House”. Since then, Jatuporn has continued to criticize DSI in regards to their investigation over the deaths of the red shirts and in particularly that DSI distorted the facts over the death of the Reuters cameraman from Japan – see here. During the censure debate in parliament, Jatuporn spoke on March 17 and 18 and criticized Abhisit and Suthep. The Nation:

Pheu Thai MP Jatuporn Prompan, a red-shirt leader, spent three and a half hours from 11pm on Thursday night showing evidence from files of the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) to prove that at least 13 people, including a soldier, were killed by military bullets.

The DSI stopped the investigation of the remaining cases after finding military involvement, he said.

BP: Suthep and Abhisit denied this, but well the DSI was not going to let the issue go. The Nation ( (Thai language excerpts per ASTV Manager added in brackets)

The Department of Special Investigation will file three more charges against Pheu Thai Party MP Jatuporn Promphan related to his debate during the censure showdown against the government.

DSI director-general Tharit Phengdit said DSI investigators reached an unanimous decision to add three more charges against Jatuporn.

First, he would be charged with falsifying official document because he selectively quoted from DSI reports during the debate (ข้อหาปลอมเอกสารของทางราชการ เพราะมีการตัดต่อข้อความบางส่วน เลือกเฉพาะส่วนที่เป็นประโยชน์ ส่วนที่เป็นโทษไม่มีการพูดถึง)

Second, he would be charged with spying on and disclosing classified documents of a government agency (ข้อหานำความลับในสำนวนการสอบสวนไปเปิดเผยต่อสาธารณะ อันอาจเกิดความเสียหายต่อพยานหลักฐาน และก่อให้เกิดความเสียหายทางรูปคดี)

Third, he would be charged with framing others with intent to have them wrongly face criminal charges (.ข้อหาจงใจใส่ร้ายผู้อื่นให้อาจต้องรับโทษทางอาญา ทั้งที่ยังไม่มีมูลความผิด)

BP: Charge 1 is simply astonishing in its ridiculousness. Part of what Tharit says in Thai is that Jatuporn only selected parts favorable to his side. Question. When Abhisit and Suthep were countering what Jatuporn said, did they give a fair and accurate assessment. Here is Suthep:

“Only rubber bullets were used, which was the last measure,” said Suthep, adding that the use of live bullets by soldiers to defend themselves or fight with armed elements of the red shirts was another matter

BP: Is this a fair and accurate assessment without leaving out information contrary to the government side? Matichon has Jatuporn’s response where he stated that the report was over 500 pages long and that it would take a month for the censure debate (ซึ่งเอกสารเกี่ยวกับการสลายการชุมนุมมีกว่า 500 หน้า ถ้าอ่านหมดคงต้องอภิปรายเป็นเดือน). Jatutporn further says that if DSI proceeds with a case against him then they must also do so against Abhisit and Suthep because both of them used information from the case file to respond in the censure debate and they only used parts of the report as well (ถ้าดำเนินคดีกับตน ก็ต้องดำเนินคดีกับนายอภิสิทธิ์ เวชชาชีวะ นายกรัฐมนตรี และนายสุเทพ เทือกสุบรรณ รองนายกฯ ด้วย เนื่องจาก 2 คนก็นำข้อมูลสำนวนการสอบสวนคดีดังกล่าวมาใช้การอภิปรายเช่นเดียวกัน และเลือกอ่านเฉพาะบางส่วนเช่นกัน).

Tharit needs to get real. Politicians everywhere in the world present information to the public that is favorable to their side. Now, it is certainly normal to criticize politicians for this, but to charge them with a criminal offence?

On the second charge, now it is normal to charge a leaker with disclosing classified information,* but it is not normal to charge the person who the document it was leaked to. Will DSI also now target journalists who disclose information from reports that was leaked to them? Or just opposition politicians?

On the third charge, this relates back to the first charge, but basically DSI is making a political assessment. Is DSI now going to examine all statements by politicians to judge whether they are fair? Or just those by opposition politicians?

*BP was going to mention that details of witness testimonies would be available to the defence at a trial so it is really just confidential information and not classified information, but from what BP understands the law of criminal discovery in Thailand is relatively limited and well prosecutors do not have to provide the information that you see from US TV shows so some of these witness statements would never see the light of day….

btw, see comments by PPT on this issue here.