By Frank, Thai Intel political journalist
Just a brief background, but a tape was leaked concerning the lobbying of the Constitutional Court to get the main Thai government coalition party, Democrat Party, off the hook on legal charges that could see the party dissolved.
Please research Thai Intel-because we reported to our readers months ago of a net-work of top Thai judges that are linked through the “Songkla Network.”
“Lobbying is going on,” Thai Intel reported months ago.
Songkla is a province in Southern Thailand where many senior judges got their education and careers started or were posted. Songkhla is also considered the second home of the Privy Council Prem since he was born there.
Prem just got his Bangkok residence hit with shit for the 5th time yesterday-by someone who says he just does not like Prem.
About 20 years ago, another person who said he did not like Prem-punched Prem in the nose. That guy was sent to jail and about a week later was found drowned in the prison bathroom.
The Songkhla network is how the royalist rule of Thailand keep its control on the Thai judicial process-which have been extremely prejudicial against Taksin, the opposition and the Red Shirt-while being extremely lenient on the royalist Yellow Shirt.
If you are looking for confirmation of the existence of the Songkhla Network-Thai Intel spotted Jai Ungpakorn talking about it also.
A foreign intelligence unit told Thai Intel about the existence of the Songkhla Network about 2 years ago.
The information of the entire network is there in a foreign government’s hand-which means the information is also floating about in Thailand and is known-since that foreign intelligence unit-probably got it from a local source.
The following is from the Bangkok Post:
Puea Thai Party spokesman Prompong Nopparit on Sunday revealed the second video clip claiming a Democrat Party MP was negotiating with Consitution Court President’s secretary-general Pisit Sakdanarong.
Mr Prompong said the clip showed three people who were talking about the Democrat dissolution case and two of them were Mr Pisit and Democrat MP for Ranong province Virach Romyen.
“The discussion made referrence to Democrat chief party adviser Chuan Leekpai and senior court officials.
“During the talk, there were attempts to bring in the Election Commission chairman [Apichart Sukhagganond] as a witness,” the opposition party spokesman said.
He said the Puea Thai suspected that both sides were also aware of Democrat’s Thosaphol Pengsom secretly receiving documents from court officials.
Prime Minister and Democrat leader Abhisit said his party will conduct an investigation into the video clips.
Mr Abhisit insisted that the Democrats had never intervened in the judicial process.
The following is from the AFP:
BANGKOK (AFP) – – Thailand’s prime minister is due in court on Monday as his party tries to fend off a possible ban that threatens to further shake the kingdom’s fractured political landscape.
Abhisit Vejjajiva, alongside other executives, faces a five-year ban from politics and the ruling Democrat Party could be dissolved if it is found guilty of corruption by the Constitutional Court.
The premier is set to be a witness for the defence in what could be the final hearing before judges rule on the case, which centres on claims of misuse of a 29-million-baht (900,000-dollar) state grant in 2005.
“We are satisfied with the facts we have presented to the court and confident our party has done nothing wrong,” Democrat lawyer Virat Kalayasiri told AFP.
The party faces accusations that it paid 23 million baht to advertising firms, despite only having permission to spend 19 million on billboard marketing.
Thailand’s Election Commission (EC) in April called for the party to be abolished over the claims as well as a separate case alleging an undeclared political donation.
Abhisit on Sunday rejected accusations that a member of his party had attempted to influence the court’s decision.
“It is not necessary to do that. The Constitutional Court should be independent and we do not want to see any lobbying,” he said on his weekly television show.
The Prime Minister added that the court is likely to reach a verdict next month.
Judicial rulings have played a pivotal role in shaping the kingdom’s politics in the past.
The Democrats, Thailand’s oldest party, came to power two years ago after controversial court decisions ousted allies of fugitive ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra, who was dislodged in a 2006 military coup.
Two premiers were deposed from office by the judiciary in 2008 — one of whom, Samak Sundaravej, was removed for taking payments for hosting TV cooking shows.
Uncertainty over the government comes at a difficult stage for the deeply divided country.
April’s EC intervention coincided with a tense standoff between troops and “Red Shirts”, which descended into violence that left over 90 people dead and almost 1,900 injured during two months of unrest.
Experts question whether powers thought to support Abhisit’s ruling coalition — including the military and Yellow Shirt movement, representing the Bangkok elite in palace circles — would allow the Democrats to be toppled.
Author and former Thai diplomat Pavin Chachavalpongpun said he does not believe the party will be disbanded.
“What is the point of staging a military coup in the first place when they know the party they rely on will have to be dissolved?” he said.
However, he said one potential motive would be as a gesture to the Red Shirts to rebuff allegations of double standards in the legal system.
Pavin said “even then, they will have a plan B”, with rumours that a new party would swiftly rise from the ashes of the old.
“They will still carry on the mission of maintaining the status quo but that is a deeper, more complicated game. I still don’t believe that the Democrat party will be dissolved,” he said.
Michael Montesano, of the Institute of South East Asia Studies in Singapore, said: “It is possible that there will be dissolution of the Democrat Party and it could happen for one of several reasons.”
He said it could be that the Yellows “decided that the Democrats and Abhisit had outlived their usefulness”, or the judge makes the decision on the basis of the law. Another reason would be as a concession to reconciliation efforts.
Montesano said it appears a new party — “Democrat in all but name” — would try to boost its electoral chances ahead of next year’s poll.
But Montesano said those involved still had not managed to reach out to the rural poor and working class.
“There is every indication that the Democrats and their allies do not really know what to do in order to reshape the political landscape so that they can win the next election.” he said.
- Thailand’s southern conflict claims 4,390 lives (topinews.com)
- Thailand: Bouncing briefly back (economist.com)
- Thai Mobile-Phone Stocks Fall as Court Halts 3G Bids (businessweek.com)
- Red Shirts Stage Protests in Thai Cities (online.wsj.com)
- Thaksin to increase activities ahead of Thai polls (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Thailand Braces for Anniversary Protests (online.wsj.com)
- Thai official: Red Shirts plotted assassinations (ctv.ca)
- Thai official: Red Shirts plotted assassinations (foxnews.com)
- Daily Pampering: Thai detoxifying ritual at Canyon Ranch (gadling.com)
- Thai court stalls U.S. bid to extradite Viktor Bout (reuters.com)
- Training Muay Thai in Thailand: What You Need to Know (artofmanliness.com)
- The ‘impossible’ voyage of a Tamil ghost ship (theglobeandmail.com)
- In a Bangkok apartment, Tamils wait for a ship to Canada (theglobeandmail.com)
- Thai Court Stalls U.S. Bid to Extradite Viktor Bout (nytimes.com)
- Bangkok blast kills 3 (cbc.ca)
- Thailand’s Emergency: Who Killed the King? (advocacy.globalvoicesonline.org)
- “Thai court rules arms-dealing suspect Bout can be extradited to US” and related posts (luishipolito.blogspot.com)
- Thai Court Dismisses Extra Charges Against Bout (nytimes.com)