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Appeal Court

Former defence minister acquitted

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

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 EC database to state that the Pattana Chart Thai Party’s candidates were eligible to contest the election in 2006. The EC official was given Bt30,000 by Thammarak, the attorney told the court.

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

The court ruled that although the close-circuit video 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 one who hired them.

The court, however, sentenced the EC official to five years in jail but because he gave useful information, the penalty was reduced to three years and four months.




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