Cynics have long claimed that justice in Thailand is a marketable commodity like almost anything else. A current issue involving a wealthy elderly Swede, accused of multiple cases of sexual abuse of children, financially manipulative lawyers perverting the course of justice and a greedy adulterous judge, have cast a ‘cloud of corruptive gloom’ over the Courts of Justice in Thailand, writes pattayadailynews.com.
Mr. Solberg [Alias] , a Swedish national, was charged on multiple counts of sexual abuse after having had sexual relations with underage boys in Pattaya, Thailand. Along with two other foreigners, Mr. Solberg was arrested and remanded in custody in 2009, following an extensive police investigation, writes pattayadailynews.com.
Seeking representation, Mr. Solberg hired a lawyer from a firm located in Soi R, Moo.10, South Pattaya. Miss Wanida [alias], who runs the legal practitioners, had tried to bail her client out of remand more than 10 times, but was ultimately unsuccessful.
Allegedly by chance, Miss Wanida was introduced to another woman Miss Linda [alias] by an associate law firm. Miss Linda was supposed to be very powerful woman and ‘close’ to a judge in the Court of Appeals, who revealed that she may be able to help Miss Wanida and her client.
Using Miss Linda’s connections in an attempt to gain her client bail, Miss Wanida, a lawyer and Mr. Nopadol [alias] (an intermediary for Miss Linda) signed a strong MOU [Memorandum of understanding] regarding procedures and payment. In using Mr. Nopadol (for a minor fee), both Miss Linda and the aforementioned Judge were thus concealed from any involvement in the case, writs pattayadailynews.com.
On the 14th of September 2009, Miss Wanida and Mr. Nopadol opened a joint bank account at the Siam Commercial Bank, Central Ladprow branch. The account deposited in the new account totaled 3.5 million baht.
Under the terms of the MOU and resultant account, both had to sign their names in order to withdraw the money. If the bail application was successful for all three cases, Miss Wanida would have to sign over to Mr. Nopadol. If the bail request was rejected, Mr. Nopadol would have to sign for Miss Wanida to withdraw. The MOU was signed at the Central Ladprow Department store, writes pattayadailynews.com.
Two weeks later, on the 30th September 2009, the judge at the Court of Appeals remarkably signed permission for the Swedish man to be released on bail, despite more than 10 previous rejections!
On the 3rd of October 2009, Miss Linda asked Miss Wanida to withdraw 100,000 baht to pay Mr. Nopadol and for the remaining 3.4 million to be transferred into her own account at the same bank. According to media sources, she later made cash withdrawals of not more than 1 million each time in order to pay the judge.
After the successful bail requests, the Swedish man was so impressed with Miss Linda’s job that he then signed a MOU hiring her to handle his cases until all charges are dismissed, writes pattayadailynews.com.
This time Mr. Solberg, residing at 404/118 Moo. 12, Nongprue, Banglamung,Chonburi, signed the MOU as the principal [payer] using another Thai woman, Miss Bee , as the go-between. The amount to buy his complete freedom was set at 9.2 million baht by Miss Linda. The MOU was signed on the 16th of October 2009 at a house in Chimplee, Bangkok. Miss Wanida also signed her name on the new MOU but only as a witness to the agreement, according to pattayadailynews.com.
Mr. Solberg allegedly paid Miss Linda 1 million baht by way of a Bangkok Bank draft at the Pattaya 2nd road branch. The payee was Miss Linda. The MOU mentioned that the 2nd payment would be on the 31st October 2009 [Bt1.5 million] and that a third of 1.5 million would be due on the 15th November 2009.
If the three cases were dismissed the payer would pay the payee another 5.2 million baht to conclude payment. Mr. Solberg had already deposited this amount into an account identical to the one used under the previous agreement, writes pattayadailynews.com.
Should the three cases not be dismissed, the payee agreed in the MOU to return the total amount of 4 million baht, the deposit of 1 million plus two installments of 1.5 million, back to the payer, immediately.
Cuckolded Husband Intervenes on Proceedings
The bribery would have been another successful story for Miss Linda and the judge if the formers husband had kept quiet about the situation, writes pattayadailynews.com.
Mr. Apichet [alias], the depressed husband of Miss Linda, had been skeptical about her ‘behavior’ for quite some time, following her and confronting her with the facts he finally got her to confess that she had been having an affair with the aforementioned judge.
Scorned, Mr. Apichet subsequently filed a complaint against his wife, Miss Linda, and the judge for adultery and bribery. The confidential complaint, along with documents and supporting evidence was sent to the Chairman of the Supreme Court.
Mr. Apichet told a Thai investigator that he had been threatened by Miss Linda and the judge on several occasions. He said Miss Linda and the judge wanted him to divorce her and to withdraw the case against them. Mr. Apichet’s car repair shop was then closed down following an injunction by the involved judge, writes pattayadailynews.com.
As a result, Mr. Apichet then filed a civil case, suing the judge, Miss Linda and her gang, a total of 9 people, for threatening and closing his shop at Talingchan Court, Bangkok. This new case seemed to make the situation worse, resulting in ‘more serious’ threats received by Mr. Apichet, who subsequently fled the capital.
On the 25th August 2010, a reliable source from the Office of the Judiciary confirmed to reporters that the Judiciary Committee was investigating both Miss Linda and the judge on many similar accusations involving more than 70 million baht in bribery payments, writes pattayadailynews.com.
Initially, the accused judge was transferred to the Office of the Judiciary where he has no judicial duties, particularly those concerned with the ongoing investigation into the bribery cases of which he is accused. If he is found guilty he will be investigated by the National Commission Anti-Fraud Protection Division.
On the 2nd of September 2010, at 5.30 pm, Miss Wanida told the press by phone that she admitted that she had signed the MOU with Mr. Nopadol, claiming that it was a legal document hiring him to handle the bailing process. The 2nd MOU was signed by Mr. Solberg, hiring Miss Linda and her team as the legal consultants for his cases. Miss Wanida was hired as a translator and signed as a witness. She added that she had already withdrawn as the legal advisor on Mr. Solberg’s cases and reportedly had not yet been contacted by investigators, writes pattayadailynews.com.
A reliable source has informed the press that the bribery complaint cases have also been sent to all the Privy Councilors, the DSI and the Minister of the Ministry of Justice.
How Pattaya Attorney Avoids the Fire
1. She mentioned in the MOU that the 3.5 million baht was transferred into her account from Mr. Solberg for use in bail proceedings and other expenses.
2. In the second MOU, she said she was only the translator and witness.
3. She said she did not know that Miss Linda was the judge’s mistress and was unaware of how Miss Linda would get the bail permission for her client.
4. She also said she resigned the contract between her company and Mr. Solberg after he had opted to engage the services of Miss Linda directly.