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Court acquits PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, allowing him to stay on at military residence

Caitlin Ashworth

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Court acquits PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, allowing him to stay on at military residence | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai PBS World
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PM Prayut Chan-o-cha will be staying in office and at his military residence. Bangkok’s Constitutional Court ruled today that the prime minister and former Thai general and commander of the Thai Army has not violated the charter by occupying a military-owned residence. The court says under military regulations, former officers can remain at their Army residence after their retirement at the discretion of the Thai Army commander.

Pro-democracy protesters have been pushing on Prayut to resign since July, along with calling for a rewrite of the 2017 Constitution together with reform of the government and role of the monarchy. Recently, Prayut was accused of violating the Constitution by staying at an official Army residence, rent-free, after his ‘retirement’ as General Prayut in 2014. Some say the tenancy represents a conflict of interest and the prime minister was abusing his power. A guilty ruling would’ve potentially put an end to his premiership.

Sections 184 and 186 of the Thai Constitution forbid a government minister from “receiving any special money or benefit from a government agency, state agency or state enterprise apart from that given by the government agency, state agency or state enterprise to other persons in the ordinary course of business.”

Prayut told the court that he was staying at the residence at the First Infantry Battalion of Royal Guards because his home in Baan Phitsanulok was being renovated and that his security team suggested he live at the Army residence for safety, a source told Nation Thailand.

Similar housing has been provided to former Army chiefs who are now members of the Cabinet, Privy Council and Parliament, according to the Royal Thai Army. They add that the residence was provided to Prayut because the prime minister “deserves the honour and security it provides.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 4:39 pm

    Oh other ex-army pigs have their snouts in the same trough.
    What a rotten corrupt gang of liars and cheats they are.
    And violating the Thai constitution. There is no justification for what they do.

  2. Avatar

    Timmytime

    Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 4:45 pm

    Did ANYONE expect another outcome????. Pathetic to say atleast.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 4:58 pm

      Well, what a surprise ….. just a little odd, though, that no-one said that “under military regulations, former officers can remain at their Army residence after their retirement” before …..

  3. Avatar

    Timmytime

    Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 4:48 pm

    Did anyone actually expect another outcome????. The corruption and bullshit lies never ends with this government. Pathetic to say atleast.

  4. Avatar

    Fabian

    Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 5:09 pm

    Expect more anger among the people, smart move dinos.

    • Avatar

      Preesy Chepuce

      Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 9:22 pm

      In the end, money comes from the West. The CCP only makes money because the West chooses to buy from it; if the West changes its mind and instead chooses to buy from another large country that’s eager for growth and investment, then the CCP’s money tap will dry up, and their loan shark diplomacy caravan won’t start because the tank will be empty. Destroying Hong Kong as a global financial centre is the least of their worries. Tokyo will be happy to replace Hong Kong, as will many other places. The Republic of China may end up in a stronger position against the CCP regime.

  5. Avatar

    Mike

    Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 5:32 pm

    No, really!? The ex-army-general-cum-prime-minister has been acquitted of wrong-doing? Hahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaa…

    The Thai people deserve better..

  6. Avatar

    Jesus Monroe

    Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 5:38 pm

    Right thats it. Im moving in too. Prayut your sleeping in the dog house tonight…………

  7. Avatar

    Michael

    Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 5:48 pm

    Thailand has once again proven to be a banana republic.

    The only country in the world where “Regulations” are above the Constitution.

    • Avatar

      Kim

      Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 7:44 pm

      It’s not the only country in the world where the constitution is applied as the powers that be, sees it fit. It does however sadden me and I hope my children’s generation will see some positive change.

  8. Avatar

    Poor Farang

    Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 7:57 pm

    I don’t understand the trouble here. In Germany for example, all former Presidents (not just the Chancellors) keep their paid office including staff, Cars and drivers and security teams. Even if the stop working at all. And be a president in Germany is a part time job like selling Bratwurts in a Beerhouse. So what’s the shame on Thailand?

    • Avatar

      Nipral

      Thursday, December 3, 2020 at 5:31 am

      …really “poor” !!!

  9. Avatar

    Issan John

    Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 8:42 pm

    So Thailand’s been “proven” to be a republic?

    “Again”?

    Really?

    Do you ever think before you comment?

  10. Avatar

    Denis

    Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 11:01 pm

    This is a good news…
    The manipulations of opponents to destabilize the Prime Minister have crashed like a mosquito on a windshield.
    The argument was fallacious, justice did its job.
    Great luck for Thailand, which above all needs stability in these difficult times.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Thursday, December 3, 2020 at 12:17 pm

      Whether you agree with the politics or the outcome, it was anything but “fallacious” as a point of simple fact.

      He was living in an Army quarter he was believed to not be entitled to, which had previously been justified on the grounds that the house was for “visitors” while his house was being re-decorated, even though the PM has an official residence provided, with security, near parliament, which he didn’t want to use because it was “too big”.

      Apparently, though, “under military regulations, former officers can remain at their Army residence after their retirement” even though no-one appeared to know that before (or at least no-one mentioned it) and it seems a rather odd arrangement as if they did there wouldn’t be anywhere for those serving to live.

      I’m not suggesting the acquittal was right or wrong, just that it’s a bit odd that no-one seemed to know what the “regulations” were until after the case was brought … Ho hummm …..

  11. Avatar

    Malc Thai

    Thursday, December 3, 2020 at 12:08 pm

    So does this mean everyone that retires from the military can stay in their houses

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Thursday, December 3, 2020 at 12:24 pm

      “at the discretion of the Army commander”, apparently. ….. or in a house they weren’t living in but the Army just has ‘spare’, apparently …..

  12. Avatar

    harry1

    Thursday, December 3, 2020 at 12:23 pm

    so a army regulation supersedes the constitution laws ?

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Thursday, December 3, 2020 at 12:33 pm

      That does seem to be the case, even if it’s “at the discretion fo the Army commander”, since it doesn’t seem to be “given to other persons in the ordinary course of business” ….. but I’m not a lawyer so that’s for the Court to decide (as they have).

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Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Bangkok. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

Bangkok

Police shoot and kill man suspected of dealing “K-powdered milk”

Caitlin Ashworth

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Police shoot and kill man suspected of dealing “K-powdered milk” | The Thaiger
PHOTO: HD.co.th

A man suspected of selling the ketamine-based drug cocktail, which is said to be tied to at least 10 deaths in Bangkok, was shot and killed in a shootout with police in Nakhon Pathom, just west of the capital. The narcotic cocktail, known as “K powdered milk,” is ketamine laced with methamphetamine, heroin and the anti-anxiety medication diazepam, all crushed up together resembling powdered milk.

Police tracked down 41 year old Wasan Khiaohom yesterday. He was in a pickup truck parked next to another car on a roadside in Nakhon Pathom’s Mueang district. As officers moved in to investigate, Wasan, who also went by the name Ple Kampangsaen, got out of a pickup and pulled out a gun, firing shots at the officers. Police fired back, shooting him. Wasan tried to flee the area, but collapsed and died in a wooded area by the road.

Police say they searched Wasan’s pockets and found a small bag of “K powdered milk” and 40 ecstasy pills. Police also arrested 2 alleged accomplices who were driving the car and pickup truck.

Police have been cracking down on illicit drugs after 10 people died reportedly after taking the narcotic drug cocktail while others were hospitalised. From January 13 to 18, police arrested 592 people in the drug crackdown. In a series of busts, police say they seized a total of 8,644,825 baht worth of drugs including methamphetamine pills, crystal methamphetamine, cannabis, ketamine, kratom leaves, kratom drink and ecstasy pills.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Catch up with the latest daily “Thailand News Today” here on The Thaiger.

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Thailand

Woman sentenced to 43 years in prison for violating lèse majesté law

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Woman sentenced to 43 years in prison for violating lèse majesté law | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Siamrath

The Bangkok Criminal Court sentenced a former public official to more than 4 decades in prison for violating the country’s strict lèse majesté law on insulting or defaming the Thai Monarchy.

The woman, a former Revenue Department official known as Anchan, was found guilty on 29 counts of violating Section 112 of the Criminal Code, known as the lèse majesté law, as well as the Computer Crime Act. She was sentenced to 43 years and 6 months in prison.

Anchan had posted audio clips on Facebook and YouTube of a man making comments considered critical of the Thai Monarchy. The man has been arrested, but officials haven’t released any other details.

The ruling comes during an ongoing pro-democracy movement raising subjects that are considered taboo in Thai society. In recent months, dozens of protesters have been charged with violating the lèse majesté law. A senior researcher from the Human Rights Watch as the recent sentence sends a “spine-chilling” message.

“Today’s court verdict is shocking and sends a spine-chilling signal that not only criticisms of the monarchy won’t be tolerated, but they will also be severely punished.”

Section 112 of the Criminal Code:

Those who defame, insult or threaten the King, the Queen, the Heir-apparent or the Regent shall be punished by a jail term of between three to 15 years.

SOURCES: Thai Enquirer | Bangkok Biz News| Independent

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Thailand

Man arrested for allegedly overstaying 60 day tourist visa by 7 years

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Man arrested for allegedly overstaying 60 day tourist visa by 7 years | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai Crime Thailand

Immigration police arrested a 40 year old Nigerian man for allegedly overstaying his visa by 2,683 days. The man entered Thailand in April 2014 on a 60 day tourist visa. He was arrested in in Ratchathewi district of Bangkok.

Illegal immigration is considered as a major factor of the second wave of Covid-19 after the outbreak Samut Sakhon seafood market affecting a large migrant population.

Thai Visa says immigration officers were “targeting Africans to check on their visa status as part of measures associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The penalties for overstaying in Thailand are as follows…

When surrendering at airport immigration when leaving Thailand…

  • Overstay less than 90 Days = 500 Thai baht/day overstay fine (maximum 20,000 Thai baht)
  • Overstay more than 90 Days = 1 year ban from Thailand and 20,000 Thai baht overstay fine
  • Overstay more than 1 Year = 3 years ban from Thailand and 20,000 Thai baht overstay fine
  • Overstay more than 3 Years = 5 years ban from Thailand and 20,000 baht overstay fine
  • Overstay more than 5 Years = 10 years ban from Thailand and 20,000 baht overstay fine

When caught while overstaying…

  • Overstay of 1 day to 1 Year = 5 years ban from Thailand and 500 to 20,000 Thai baht overstay fine.
  • Overstay more than 1 Year = 10 years ban from Thailand and 20,000 Thai baht overstay fine.

SOURCES: True Crime Thailand | Thai Embassy| Thai Visa

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