Political decision: The rubber saplings corruption case

25 09 2009

Another historic court verdict in Thailand history: the Supreme Court Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions found all 44 defendants (who served under Thaksin leadership) in the Bt1.44 billion rubber sapling project graft case not guilty. This shall stand to remind all the Thais of injustice and incredibility of our judiciary system: the lack of independence of members of the judiciary. It is a political rather than legal decision.

Newin who served as the former deputy agriculture minister and the 43 co-defendants were charged with corruption the procurement of 90 million rubber saplings for about 1.4 billion baht for farmers in the North and the Northeast. Let’s imagine if Newin did not switch side and he was loyal to Thaksin and Puea Thai Party, would the verdict still be read the way it did? Does his supporting role or mediating role in the current coalition government facilitate his corruption case?

Newin has played an important role in the current coalition. The injustice court verdict on rubber saplings case has brightened up a political prospect of a rising political star, Newin Chidchob, a de facto leader and a newly appointed headmaster of Bhumjaithai Party. Crying while giveing interview to the press won him the best actor award!

However, Newin and the other former executives of the disbanded parties still face another legal hurdle that is the five-year political ban imposed by the Constitution court. To be able to make a political come back, the constitution would need to be amended or amnesty bill be enacted. It is interesting and something to watch is whther the chater will be amended to facilitate his political ban? If the rubber sapling is the first example to show how the verdict will be read, it is not very difficult to predict the outcome of the online lottery case and the rest that involve Newin and his crews. It is a political case that ends with political decision.