Two ex-prosecutors given bail in alleged bribery case over national park encroachment
Two former prosecutors in Phuket were handed bail after they were charged and taken to court for allegedly demanding THB10 million from a foreign company in exchange for not pursuing a case of national park encroachment.
The move came after a 21-minute sound clip featured one of the former prosecutors speaking with an employee of the company.
They were allegedly negotiating a sum of THB10 million to get the foreign company off the hook. The company was accused of encroaching on national park land.
The case was brought before the prosecutor in 2019.
Ex-prosecutor Thamma Sornchai was taken to the Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases Region 8. He was charged with allegedly demanding a bribe from a foreign company. Wanchat Choonhathanom was also charged as an accomplice.
Both were charged with violation of Section 201 of the Thailand Criminal Code.
Section 201 of the code states that “if an official in a judicial post, a public prosecutor, an official conducting a case or an inquiry official wrongfully demands, accepts or agrees to accept property or any other benefit for oneself or another person so as to exercise or non-exercise any act, whether such exercise or non-exercise is wrongful to oneself’s function or not, shall be imprisoned from five years to 20 years or get life imprisonment, and fined from 2,000 baht to 40,000 baht, or death”.
Thamma proposed a bail of THB700,000, with land in Kanchanaburi as collateral, and cash, while Wanchai proposed a bail of THB700,000 in cash.
The court released both on bail.