Convicted Thaksin should accept ruling : Abhisit
By The Nation

Former prime minister and fugitive Thaksin Shinawatra should humble himself and accept his verdict and sentencing on the Ratchadapisek land case, Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva said Wednesday.

"The verdict on Thaksin is just and the trouble can dissipate if all sides obey the judicial decision," he said.

Abhisit warned Thaksin that it was a futile exercise to smear the judiciary in order to make political gains. He was speaking in reference to Thaksin's remarks from London that he had anticipated his conviction because his case was politically motivated.

Thaksin should not try to ensure his sole survival at the expense of society, Abhisit said, pointing out that Thai citizens are suffering despair caused by polarised politics.

People's Alliance for Democracy leader Pipop Thongchai said Thaksin had no right to be critical of his conviction because he fled to England instead of standing trial.

Pipop said the Thai judiciary is always fair and just, but Thaksin has decided to waiver his right to defend himself.

He added that Thaksin should reflect on himself before criticising others, because it was his defence team that got caught trying to pass Bt2 million in cash as bribes to court officials.

Opposition chief whip Sathit Wongnongtoey said he was disappointed that Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat was trying to shield his brother-in-law Thaksin.

Somchai had no justification in distorting the verdict, by presenting the offence as a minor conflict of interest within the anti-graft law. Hence, by his own reasoning, Thaksin was still an honest leader, Sathit said.

He called on the prime minister to take swift action and extradite Thaksin to serve his jail term.

Democrat Party secretary general Suthep Thuagsuban said Tuesday's verdict to penalise Thaksin for committing conflict of interest relating to the Ratchadapisek land case was proof that justice can prevail, regardless of how high ranking a culprit is.

He said he was not surprised that Thaksin saw his punishment as politically motivated. Certain people, including Thaksin, have a low opinion of the judiciary because they view justice as causing trouble for them.

Thaksin's spokesman, Pongthep Thepkanchana said he was unaware of plans to translate the verdict for distribution around the world as a way to expose the standard of the Thai judiciary.

Pongthep said he knew only that Thaksin was informed about his conviction and had not given any instruction on the matter.

Chief prosecutor in charge of foreign affairs, Sirisak Tiyaphan said he was preparing to launch the extradition request to bring Thaksin back for imprisonment.

Under the two key provisions of the Anglo-Thai Treaty, the extradition is warranted if the fugitive convict is penalised by a jail term of more than one year and if the conviction involves wrongdoing deemed an offence both by English and Thai laws.