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Demolition of 60 Sukhumvit beer bars: Chuwit’s fate known today

Rak Thailand party Chuwit Kamolvisit arrived this morning at the Bangkok South Municipal Court to listen to the final ruling of his offences in ordering 131 men to forcibly demolish 60 beer bars in the heart of capital in 2003 in defiance of law.
ChuwitHe arrived with a bowl with some consumers products which he did not explain of the purpose.
But what he brought with him indicated as a gesture of an apology.
The Supreme Court will have the final verdict of the 12-year-old court case in which Mr Chuwit, who was then massage parlour tycoon before he entered politics and became leader of the Rak Thailand party, and two accomplices, were charged for leading 131 men to evict bar owners out of an area known as Sukhumvit Square on Sukhumvit Soi 10.
The bars sprawled over more than 10 rai of land. More than 60 beer bars were forcibly demolished.
Earlier he and 131 others who included his accomplices Lt Colonel Himalai Phiewphan, a military officer attached to the Armed Forces Development in 2003, and Major Thanyathep Thammathorn, who worked at the 11th Infantry Battalion of the Royal Guards, were prosecuted in the Criminal Court for the forced eviction.

But initially, the Criminal Court acquitted all defendants in the case including Chuwit, Himalai, and Thanyathep in 2006.

Only his lawyer, Chanwet Malaibucha was sentenced to an eight-month in jail for showing land ownership document to Lumphini police to mislead them into believing the eviction was legitimate.

Chanwet, prosecutors and co-plaintiffs appealed against the 2006 verdict.

But the Appeals Court found over half of them guilty, including Chuwit and the two officers.

It sentenced Chuwit and the two officers to five years in prison.

But he was granted bail pending appeal to the Supreme Court.

However as an MP carrying out his duty during a parliamentary session, he was not required to post any collateral, while two officers posted 500,000 baht in cash each for bail.

They appealed to the Supreme Court and today the ruling will be handed down.

Thai PBS



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