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Thammarak escapes jail for 2006 poll fraud

The Appeal Court Tuesday acquitted former Thai Rak Thai deputy leader Thammarak Issarangkura for allegedly hiring an official to tamper with the Election Commission's political party database, giving him the benefit of doubt about the case.

Thammarak, a former defence minister, was charged with collaborating with two men to hire a member of the operations staff at the EC Office to change the commission's database to state that Pattana Chart Thai Party candidates were eligible to contest the election in 2006. The EC official was given Bt30,000 by Thammarak for this purpose, a lawyer had told the court.

The Criminal Court found Thammarak guilty last May and sentenced him to three years four months in prison.

The Appeal Court ruled that although a closecircuit video camera at the Defence Ministry showed that the defendants involved in the wrongdoing came back from Thammarak's office with white envelopes, there was no evidence that Thammarak was the person who hired them to commit such an offence.

The Nation


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