As more court verdicts are due to be announced in due course, it might be helpful to consider how the judicial system in Thailand has been transformed since September 19th, 2006. Here are some observations by Chaturon Chaisang from his book Thai Democracy in Crisis: 2y Truths (p.174) on the issue of banning political party executives:
“As for politicians who held office in previous governments and were accused of various crimes which mostly concerned corruption, the crucial point is that the judicial process has been distorted. The Assets Examination Committee was set up by the junta, and comprised biased individuals who vowed outright to deal with a person or group of persons whom they targeted. And the proceedings of the committee were not in line with the practice of the Criminal Code in many aspects.
Then the cases were forwarded to the National Counter Corruption Committee. The problem of illegitimacy arose again, as the NCCC was also appointed by the junta, and was composed of individuals who harboured hatred towards the accused. All this is a distortion of the judicial process, preventing the accused from receiving justice.”
Of course, Khun Chaturon is one of those affected by these decisions since he is one of the 111 Thai Rak Thai executives banned as a result of the retroactive legislation introduced by the junta. Readers may judge for themselves whether this might have affected his opinions.
The issue of retroactive legislation against a set of people issued by an unaccountable body that seized power by threat of violence and then retroactively pardoned itself for an illegal act* is one which is also worth considering.
* Plotting the 2006 coup took place while the 1997 Constitution was in force and was, therefore, illegal. The junta abolished that Constitution once their tanks were in place and then declared an amnesty for all those involved.