Thailand may pursue BKKIFF charges

Local official could be prosecuted after conviction of Greens

HONG KONG -- Thai authorities will meet Wednesday to consider the possibility of their own legal action against former Bangkok Film Festival officials, following the conviction of Gerald and Patricia Green on bribery charges last week.

A Los Angeles court on Friday found the Greens guilty of making $1.8 million of illegal payments to Juthamas Siriwan, the former governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, in return for securing management contracts for the festival.
 
Siriwan has denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged with any offense in Thailand or the U.S. However, when the scandal broke in December 2007 she dramatically resigned as deputy leader of the Puea Pandin Party only days before the general election.
 
Thailand's National Counter Corruption Commission has tracked the case against the Greens, sent an observer to the L.A. trial and received documents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the U.S. It will convene on Wednesday to consider the existing evidence against Siriwan and whether it needs to go through the Attorney General's office to ask the FBI for more.
 
"The information obtained from the FBI has sufficient grounds, in particular the overseas financial transaction documents, which is vital to conclude the case. Methee Krongkaew, a NCCC member and head of the probe subcommittee, told Thailand's state news agency M-COT. "Besides the graft case, it is also likely to involve malfeasance."
 
Krongkaew also told MCOT that other officials could be implicated.
 
The Greens will be sentenced in December.
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