Supreme Court jails former police officer 2 years for bribing constitutional court judge

The over 10 years long trial of the much controversial court bribery case arrived at its final episode today (July 14) when the Supreme Court sentenced a former police officer to two years in prison with no suspension after finding him guilty of attempting to bribe a Constitutional Court judge to rule in favour of the former Thai Rak Thai Party (TRT) in 2006.

TRT faced dissolution by the Constitutional Court for frauds in the general election and the former police officer attempted twice to offer 30 million baht to a judge to rule in favour of TRT.

At the hearing of the final verdict read at the Criminal Court today, the Supreme Court said the former officer Pol Lt Col Charnchai Netiratthakarn, a former superintendent of Pho Kaew police station in Sampran district of Nakhon Pathom, was guilty of trying to bribe ML Krairirk Kasmsan twice by offering him 30 million baht.

The court agreed with earlier rulings by the Appeals Court and the Criminal Court (first court) that the officer's claim that he was joking with his classmates judge was not reasonable because he went to see the judge twice despite that he had never previously visited him.

The Supreme Court then upheld two years jail term for the former officer with no suspension of jail term.

The former officer was later escorted to Klong Prem prison to serve his jail term.

His lawyer said the former officer has earlier sought sympathy from the high court to commute or relieve his jail sentence citing high blood pressure as chronic sickness.

However, the court rejected reasoning that the defendant was a police officer but still violated the law, therefore there was no reason to commute the two year prison sentence.

Earlier the Criminal Court ruled the officer guilty and handed down him three years in prison without suspension of jail term.

But the Appeals Court commuted the sentence by a third to two years.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)