A former Appellate Court judge was sentenced to five years in prison for requesting bribes of US$560,000 from a Taiwanese offender in 2018.
On Friday, the verdict was read aloud before the Central Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases in response to a case filed by the National Anti-Corruption Commission against the defendant for violating the Organic Act on Anti-Corruption and NACC bribery regulations.
According to the NACC, the Taiwanese criminal was apprehended and remanded at Samut Prakan Provincial Court between November and December 2018.
The defendant, an Appellate Court judge in Region 8, claimed to know the Samut Prakan court judge and offered him “tea money” worth 20 million baht in exchange for the Taiwanese offender’s temporary parole.
The court evaluated the information received from witnesses and established grounds for the defendant to be charged with bribing the Appellate Court judge four times in 2018.
Both parties decided to meet at the Sinthavee Hotel in Phuket, and the judge was awarded 1 million baht on November 7.
Later, the defendant phoned the Taiwanese individual, instructing him to send 3 million, 7 million, and 9 million baht on November 11, 30, and December 12, respectively.
The NACC has important evidence showing the defendant receiving money from a Taiwanese individual at the Embassy Hotel in Bangkok, as well as the defendant’s travel log from Phuket to Don Mueang through AirAsia and hotel reservation receipts.
The NACC also has evidence, such as video clips and voice recordings, as well as a contract agreement dated December 12.
The defendant was found to have violated Sections 128, 129, 169, and 175 of the Organic Act on Anti-Corruption, as well as Section 143 of the Criminal Code, after the court deliberated.
However, the court considered the defendant’s actions as a single violation of Section 175 of the Organic Act on Anti-Corruption, which imposes a severe penalty under Section 90 of the Criminal Code.
The Appellate court judge was then sentenced to five years in prison and his assets totaling 20 million baht were confiscated, becoming state property.
It rejected a malpractice accusation after the Taiwanese discovered the defendant had falsely claimed he had influence over the Samut Prakan judge.
Appellate Court in Thailand
In Thailand, the appeal court is part of the judiciary’s hierarchical system. The Court of Appeal is the second level of the court system, following the trial courts but preceding the Supreme Court. The Court of Appeal generally hears cases on appeal from subordinate courts such as the District Court or Provincial Court.
The Court of Appeal investigates the legal issues of the case, evaluates the lower court’s ruling, and determines whether any errors in the application or interpretation of the law occurred. The appellate court does not hold a retrial or reexamine the evidence; instead, it examines the legal procedures and the application of the law.
It should be noted that this material may not accurately reflect the current situation of the Thai appellate court system. It is best to reference legal resources or official Thai government websites for the most up-to-date information.