ԴЪҸԻ (English)
July 2017 : Court to Deliver Rice Pledging Verdict on 25 August

  • Supreme Court to deliver rice pledging verdict on 25 August
  • NCL passed the controversial Election Commission Bill
  • 300,000 CCTV to re-install countrywide
  • Thailand delisted from money laundering risk
  • Poo Tub Burk Master Plan to solve land use conflict
  • Court ruling on Rohingya trafficking cases
  • Public access to justice to be integrated
  • NCL approved political crime prosecution
  • Online media reform to include prepaid SIM cards
  • ID cards for state and officials welfare
  • BOI: investment in first 2 quarters soars
  • Mass transit rail to connect Tao Poon and Ratburana
  • Cabinet approved Bangkok-Korat rapid rail project

    Supreme Court to hand down rice pledging verdict

    The Supreme Courts Criminal Division for Holders of Political Offices will on Friday 25 August hand down two verdicts on cases related to the rice pledging scheme. Oneis against former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra charged with dereliction of duty in the handling of the scheme causing extensive damage to the state and the other against former commerce minister Boonsong Teriyapirom; former deputy commerce minister Poom Saraphol and over 20 other people in connection with the G-to-G rice deal with a Chinese company.

    Besides being charged with dereliction of duty in accordance with Sectin 157 of the Criminal Code, Ms Yingluck was also charged with violation of Anti-Corruption Act B.E. 2542 for her alleged failure to suspend the scheme resulting to extensive damage to the state estimated at hundreds of billion baht.

    On top of the case in the Supreme Court, Ms Yingluck is also challenging an administrative order in the Central Administrative Court for her to pay 35 billion baht in compensation to the state for the loss from the rice pledging scheme following the rsolution of the National Legislative Assembly on Jan 23, impeaching and banning her from politics for five years.

    Ms Yingluck will present her closing statement to the Court on 1 August.

    NLA passed EC draft Organic Bill

    On 4 July, the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) voted 194 to nil and 7 abstained to pass the Election Commission Bill. The bill was the first organic law passed by the NLA.

    The Bill had been objected by the EC on its constitutionality in 5 points:
    1. The higher qualifications of the selection committee members requires than the Constitution.
    2. The higher qualifications of EC members requires than the Constitution.
    3. The functions and authorities of the EC members.
    4. The election of the local authorities.
    5. The empowerment of investigation authority.
    6. The removal from office of the current EC members.

    The NLA had set up a joint law committee to review the bill, but after deliberation the Assembly voted to endorse Bill. The EC petitioned the Constitutional Court following the possible legal channels left for it to pursue.

    300,000 CCTV to re-install countrywide

    On 26 July, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha said after attended the meeting chaired at the National Security Council that there will be an improvement of CCTVs nationwide. Firstly, all installed, private and public own, particularly in public area will be rechecked and mend as soon as possible. Secondly, those obsolete units will be replaced with new ones. He estimated the reinstallation could be around 300,000 units. Lastly, there will be a central control and monitoring system and the recording VDOs must be kept for 30 days before deleting.

    Thailand lifted from money laundering list

    The Secretariat General of the Anti-Money Laundering Office disclosed Thailand recently lifted from the blacklist of the Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism - AML/CFT. The agency has announced this achievement after made its third evaluation in 2016-2017. The first two was done in 2002 and 2007. Thailand also rose to one of the top highest efficiency among Asian-Pacific nations, therefore, delisting the country from the money laundering risk nations.

    Poo Tub Burk master plan to solve land use conflict

    On 25 July, the Cabinet resolved the Poo Tub Burk Master Plan proposed by the Social Development and Human Security Ministry. The five years plan, span from 2017 to 2022, aims to solve land using conflict and regulating land using in the 13,447 rai area. On 18 January 1962, the area was designated by the ministerial regulation to become the hill tribe community settlement but its picturesqueness drew newcomers to the area and some were transformed into resorts, holiday home, restaurants and commercial causing damages to natural environment , degrading landscape and even eye soaring.

    The Master Plan classified these zones and described their management.
    1. Administration.
    2. Permissive.
    3. Residential.
    4. Economic.
    5. Forest.
    6. Common use.


    Court ruling on Rohingya trafficking cases

    On 19 July, the Criminal Court delivered its ruling of the historical human trafficking cases over 103 offenders including former militant and local administrators of the southern provinces such as former military advisor Lieutenant General Manas Kongpan, former Satul Provincial chief administrator, former Padang Besar municipal mayor, deputy mayor and member. 40 were acquitted, 62 sentenced to 4-94 jail terms and among them 28 were put in jail during appealing period. The 58 trafficked Rohingyas will receive a total of 4,400,250 baht compensation.

    The verdicts came into 500 pages, read by 9 judges for 12 continuing hours.

    Provincial committees to promote justice accessibility

    On 18 July, the Cabinet approved a principle to appoint provincial committees to promote justice accessibility to all and asked the Interior and Justice Ministries and the Budget Bureau to work out. The committees shall have functions to promote and strengthen public accessibility to justice system and promote public participation among citizens.

    NLA passed political crimes bill

    On 13 July, the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) passed the Political Crimes Bill with 176 votes and 3 abstained.

    The law aims to allow the Supreme Courts Criminal Division for Political Holders to prosecute in an abstention of offender(s). The Bill was widely discussed on Section 26-27 over its constitutionality due to normally the criminal court will not prosecute without the offender present.

    The NLA will forward the draft to Bill to the Constitutional Court or relevant agencies for consideration in regards to the Constitution objectives.

    Online media reform

    On 3 July, the National Reform Steering Committee (NRSC) voted 144 to 1 to endors the social media reform plan. The plan is divided into 2 phases; urgent and long term. Urgent plan is to register all prepaid mobile phone users by 2019. Long term plan will be in line with 20 years national strategy; promoting ethics, providing technology, building immunity and awareness, and legal knowledge. The report will be forwarded to the Cabinet for approval.

    Social welfare ID cards

    On 4 July, the Cabinet resolved on the implementation of social welfare ID cards, estimated budget 1,581 million baht. A total 14.12 people registered will be entitled to hold the cards after their qualifications endorsed by the agency. Each card shall have two microchips; one for free ride on public transport and another for other services.

    The cabinet also resolved on the state officials health care ID cards for approximate 4.5 million holders including their family members. Both cards will be ready for delivery on 1 October 2017.

    BOI: Investment soars in 2 Qs

    The Board of Investment (BOI) disclosed within the first half of 2017, a total of 612 projects had applied for promotion, making a total investment cost 291,790 million baht. Among those 302 projects, investment cost 133,494 million baht, 46 percent of total investment costs, are in the 10 designated categories. BOI is confident total investment will meet the 600,000 million baht target.

    A total investment cost of 341,310 million baht has been approved by the end of the first 2 quarters which is 15 percent increase from last year.

    Purple mass transit line to kick start 2018 ends

    On 25 July, the Cabinet resolved the Bangkok mass transit rail project 23.6 km between Tao poon and Ratburana, budget 101,112 million baht. Bidding starts this October and concludes next August. Contract can be signed after the National Environment Council approves the EIA and construction can begin as soon as 2018 ends. There will be 17 stations along the line and service is expecting around 2023-2024.

    Rapid rail from Bangkok to Northeast

    On 11 Jul, the Cabinet approved the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) project on the construction of a rapid rail system between Bangkok and Nakorn Ratchsima (Korat). Construction budget 179,413 million baht will be state investment and construction period is 4 years. The rail line is divided into 3 stages; Bangkok-Korat, Korat-Nong Kai and Kaeng Koi-Map Ta Pud making total distance of 250 km. It is anticipated a total of 2,815 privately own land will be appropriation, making 10-15 percent of total land uses and the speed limit is 250 km-hour.
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