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US Prosecutors Struggling to Extradite a Former Thai official



Former governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Juthamas Siriwan


Chiangrai Times – US prosecutors have revealed they are struggling to extradite a former Thai official and her daughter to the US to face corruption charges.

In a court filing late last week, US prosecutors said Thailand has not yet responded to a US request to bring Juthamas Siriwan, the former governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, and her daughter, Jittsopa Siriwan, to the US, The Wall Street Journal reported.

They were charged in January 2009 in an eight-count indictment with laundering US$1.8 million (57 million baht) in bribes which Mrs Juthamas allegedly received from husband-and-wife film producers Gerald and Patricia Green.

The Greens were convicted in 2009 and sentenced to six months in jail.

Michael Douglas, Patricia and Gerald Green of Film Festival

US District Judge George Wu ruled in early February that the case be delayed until July 30. But prosecutors said in last week’s filing that the July 30 hearing was no longer necessary due to the lack of a response from Thailand.

A hearing should be scheduled when the government receives a response or when the mother and daughter can personally appear before the court, prosecutors said.

The Office of the Attorney-General (OAG) spokesman Winai Damrongmongkonkul said yesterday the OAG has not concluded the case because some key evidence in Thailand has not been compiled. As a result, the OAG and National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) have set up a joint committee to investigate the case.

Methee Klongkaew, chairman of the NACC subcommittee in charge of the case, said the joint panel is expected to conclude on the case this month.

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