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Former police officer jailed for offering bribe to Constitutional Court judge

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Former police officer jailed for offering bribe to Constitutional Court judge | Thaiger

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Former police officer jailed for 3 years for offering 30 million baht bribe to Constitutional Court judge
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: The Criminal Court today jailed former Tambon Phokaew police chief Col Charnchai Netiratthakarn for three years for offering a bribe of 30 million baht to then Constitutional Court judge ML Krairirk Kasemsan.

The bribe was to help the Thai Rak Thai Party in a party dissolution case.

The court noted that Col Charnchai had twice attempted to bribe ML Krairirk, and although the money was never paid, the crime had been committed.

The court said that Col Charnchai’s claim that he was joking was not reasonable because he went to see ML Krairirk twice during this time period, despite having never previously visited the judge.

The court noted that Col Charnchai also told ML Krairirk that he owed a debt of gratitude to “Khunying Or”, apparently referring to the then wife of former prime minister and Thai Rak Thai Party leader Thaksin Shinawatra.

Col Charnchai said that he would appeal the ruling.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid UPDATE: 1,983 new infections and 34 deaths, provincial totals

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo via Facebook/ อนุทิน ชาญวีรกูล (Public Health Minister)

The daily Covid-19 death toll hit a record high today with 34 deaths reported. 1,983 new Covid-19 infections were reported today in the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration’s daily briefing. Since the start of the pandemic last year, the CCSA has reported 88,907 Covid-19 infections and 486 coronavirus-related deaths.

There are now 29,378 active Covid-19 cases in Thailand. Active cases peaked at just over 30,000 infections last week and have been on a very slight downward slope. The number of patients with severe symptoms has slightly increased to 1,200 with 401 of them on ventilators.

Around 75% of the new Covid-19 infections are in Bangkok and surrounding provinces. While the infection rate remains high in the capital, several provinces have reported no Covid-19 infections and many provinces report under 10 infections.

Most of the new Covid-related fatalities reported today are patients with underlying conditions of high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes. 12 of the 34 patients who died had contracted Covid-19 from family members, a trend in the deaths of patients. The elderly and those with chronic illnesses are at the highest risk of a severe Covid-19 infection.

A CCSA spokesperson notes that migrant workers are entitled to treatment under social welfare programs regardless of their legal status in Thailand.

“Legal or not, they will be treated. Legal status is not an issue at all. The priority is to get them treated and recovered as soon as possible.”

To combat the spread of Covid-19 in Bangkok, the CCSA is expediting the Covid-19 vaccination campaign in high-risk areas like Bangkok’s Khlong Toey slum. Since the nationwide vaccination campaign was launched in late February, 1.89 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been administered. Only 530,000 people have received both doses of the vaccine.

Provinces with the highest number of new Covid-19 cases…

Province New cases Total since April 1
Bangkok 976 21,405
Nonthaburi 266 4,035
Samut Prakan 110 3,420
Chon Buri 57 3,489
Surat Thani 53 1,256
Ayutthaya 38 743
Samut Sakhon 36 1,627
Chanthaburi 32 562
Pathum Thani 29 1,477
Pattani 28 240
Covid UPDATE: 1,983 new infections and 34 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger

Daily Covid-related deaths in Thailand as of 11 May 2021, according to Worldometers.

Covid UPDATE: 1,983 new infections and 34 deaths, provincial totals | News by Thaiger

Active Covid-19 cases in Thailand as of 11 May 2021, according to Worldometers.

 

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Thailand

More than 15,000 foreigners arrested since January for illegal border crossings

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo via Facebook/ Kanchanaburi News

Thousands of foreign nationals have been arrested this year for illegally crossing land borders into Thailand. Due to fears that those entering Thailand illegally and evading the mandatory 14-day quarantine could possibly lead to the spread of Covid-19, particularly more contagious variants of the virus, Thai authorities say they will take tough legal action on illegal migrants and labour traffickers.

From January 1 to May 9, a total of 15,378 people have been arrested for illegally crossing land borders into Thailand. Out of the people arrested, 6,072 were from Myanmar, 5,114 were from Cambodia and 882 were from Laos.

The Thai Immigration Bureau is working with border patrol officers to tighten security along Thailand’s borders, the bureau’s chief Sompong Chingduang told the Bangkok Post.

“Those who enter Thailand illegally will be prosecuted under the immigration law, the communicable diseases and the emergency decree.”

In Thailand’s last wave of Covid-19 infections in December and January, fingers pointed at illegal Burmese migrants as the epicentre of infections were concentrated at a fishing hub in Samut Sakhon, affecting a large migrant worker population.

With the recent wave of infections peaking drastically higher than the past outbreaks in Thailand and said to be linked to the more contagious variant of the virus first found in the UK, health officials are now tightening security and control measures along the borders to prevent more cases.

Border security is also being increased to prevent the emergence of the variant of the virus first detected in India. The director of the Health Science Centre of Emerging Diseases at Chulalongkorn University’s faculty of medicine made a post on Facebook saying he was concerned the variant could be imported into Thailand and cause another wave of infections.

“In the next few months, the variant found in India may slip across the border into Thailand from Myanmar. Business operators are now importing illegal migrants again… If the border is left unchecked like this and no tough measures are imposed in Bangkok and adjacent provinces, brace yourselves for a fourth wave. The current third wave will pale by comparison.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Expats

Pineapple defamation case finally dismissed for activist Andy Hall

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: British activist Andy Hall had his final pending defamation case dismissed. (via Facebook)

After fighting multiple defamation charges for nearly 10 years, British activist Andy Hall has been finally cleared of the last pending charge. Hall had lived for 12 years in Thailand before leaving in 2016 after fighting charges brought by the pineapple company Natural Fruit in Prachuap Khiri Khan when he had reported on their poor work conditions.

In 2012, Hall contributed to a report about these bad working conditions, child labour, and low wages at a local factory in Pranburi of the Natural Fruit company. Hall was originally found guilty of criminal defamation in 2016 and was given a suspended three-year prison sentence. Last June that conviction was overturned. Natural fruit then filed a 300 million baht civil defamation case but that was dropped last year before reaching trial.

The final case was a separate defamation charge stemming from a 2013 Al Jazeera interview that Hall had given. The Supreme Court overturned a lower Court’s ruling that Hall should pay 10 million baht in compensation charges. The Supreme Court dismissed the case after concluding that Hall’s criticisms were fair and that his reporting was honest and therefore the company did not deserve any financial compensation.

While Natural Fruit denied Hall’s original allegations of poor working conditions, the courts ruled that his interview was justified. In Thailand, defamation laws are strong and strict. Many human rights activists criticise these laws for allowing big businesses to silence activist and investigators with heavy-handed defamation cases.

Hall made a statement declaring that this dismissal of the last defamation charge was a relief but not a victory. He said he never had any intention of doing any damage to any legitimate business practices, and legal harassment for nearly a decade had affected his work, his family, and himself.

That relief was long-awaited as it turns out the Supreme Court decision Hall received yesterday about this final defamation case had actually been ruled by the courts nearly a year ago in June 2020. The official declaration was severely delayed in seeing the light of day because of delays and backups due to Covid-19.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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