The Supreme Court for politicians has sentenced former commerce minister Boonsong Teriyapirom to 42 years in jail and his former deputy Poom Sarapol to 36 years in the government-to-government rice sales case.
Manas Soiploy, former chief of the Foreign Trade Department, was sentenced to 40 years in prison while his deputy Tikhumporn Natvaratat got 32 years. Akharapong Theepwatchara, ex-director of the department’s Rice Trade Administration Bureau, got 24 years.
Apichart Chansakulporn, an executive of the rice exporter Siam Indica Co Ltd, was sentenced to 48 years. Along with his company, he was also ordered to pay 16.9 billion baht in damages to the Finance Ministry.
Other defendants also got jail terms and had to pay damages in proportion to their crimes as well.
Eight of all 28 defendants were acquitted. Two of the defendants reportedly fled so their sentences were not read on Friday.
After the ruling, the defendants were taken to Bangkok Remand Prison in Chatuchak district pending the court’s decision on their bail requests.
Chutichai Sakakorn, a prosecutor in the case, said the public prosecutors did not oppose their bail. He also said his team would review the ruling before deciding whether to appeal the acquittals and the damages, which were lower than what they had suggested. – Bangkok Post