Thu, June 30, 2022

in-focus

Yingluck, prosecution, have wide scope for conviction appeal: Courts


Under the new constitution, a convicted political office holder has a wider opportunity to appeal to the Supreme Court than was permitted under the previous constitution. They could appeal either the proven “facts” of the case or on the basis of a legal technicality, Suebpong Sripongkul, spokesman for the Courts of Justice has said.

Suebpong spoke after the Wednesday conviction of former premier Yingluck Shinawatra for dereliction of duty and malfeasance in preventing corruption in her government’s government-government rice deals. She was sentenced for five years without suspension.
Suebpong said the new charter included no prohibitions to bar such an appeal. Appeals can thus be launched challenging the Supreme Court’s findings of proven facts and on the basis of a legal technicality, and by either the convicted defendant or the plaintiff.

The previous charter allowed an appeal only if there was new evidence submitted, Suebpong said.
The widening of appeals grounds originates through rights recognised under Article 25 of the new constitution, which states that any rights and freedom under the constitution can be exercised following the constitution’s spirit, when there is an absence of specific laws to the contrary.
Because the Supreme Court has not yet addressed specified legal procedures against political officer holders in a criminal case, both the convicted and the plaintiff have broad bases for appeal, said Suebpong. 
Meanwhile, the new law on criminal procedures against political office holders was promulgated on Thursday and put into effect tomorrow. A convicted person would now have to launch an appeal in person before the court rather than designate a lawyer to do so.
In the case of Yingluck, that could mean the former PM must attend the courtroom in person in the event that she wished to launch an appeal.
Yingluck fled the country two days prior to the original August 25 date for the Supreme Court ruling on her charges. The reading of the ruling was then delayed until this Wednesday. Few expected Yingluck to return for the event.

Yingluck is now living in Dubai, Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-Cha revealed on Friday.

Published : September 28, 2017

By : The Nation