Thailand – Death penalty proposed for corrupt public officials

Monday, 9 January 2017
BANGKOK: A proposal to impose the death penalty on any convicted corrupt public official who incurs more than 1bil baht (RM125mil) in damage to the state has been tabled for the National Reform Steering Assembly (NRSA) meeting.

The proposal was made by its political reform steering committee, chaired by Seree Suwanpanont, as part of their report on regulation and scrutiny of the exercise of government power.

The NRSA will also consider a proposal for adjustment in the recruitment of independent agency commissioners.

Besides tougher examination of politicians, the committee proposed that state officials be scrutinised equally in corruption cases.

The reform drivers proposed five years imprisonment for convicted corrupt officials who incur no more than 1mil baht (RM125,188) losses to the state.

Under the proposals, those incurring from 1mil to 10mil baht (RM1.25mil) and 10mil to 100mil baht (RM12.5mil) should face 10 and 20 years jail respectively, while those inflicting losses between 100mil and 1bil baht (RM125mil) should receive a life term.

The committee also proposed that once the NRSA passed the report, it should be submitted to the Cabinet, the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) and the Constitution Drafting Commission for further deliberation.

The report centres on reforming the mechanisms for scrutiny of the executive branch. Among them is reform of the independent agencies, including the Constitutional Court.

It was proposed that the process for recruiting commissioners and judges as stipulated in the charter that passed last August’s referendum should be adjusted.

Previously, it was set out that representatives from related independent agencies should play a part in the recruitment. However, the NRSA political reform steering committee suggested that details of such representatives should be spelled out clearly – whether to use the current commissioners and personnel or others. It said this was to prevent any lack of transparency.

In addition, as the new charter has laid out very high qualifications for commissioners, the committee urged clear definition and scope of those qualifications so that the recruitment could be of the same standard.

The opportunity to join the independent agencies’ commission should be opened up to practitioners of all careers, the committee proposed. — The Nation / Asia News Network – Star, 9/1/2017


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