Thailand’s investigation of the alleged bribery case involving Hollywood movie producers Gerald and Patricia Green is moving ahead. The Thai press reported last week (here, among other places) that the Department of Special Investigation has found enough evidence of alleged bribery to refer the matter to the National Counter Corruption Commission (NCCC), which handles prosecutions involving high-level public corruption. “The case will be transferred to NCCC before the end of this month,” DSI spokesman Colonel Piyawat Kingket said.
The Greens were arrested in December 2007 and charged in federal court in Los Angeles with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The complaint alleges that the husband and wife paid $1.7 million in bribes to the head of the Tourism Authority of Thailand. Their purpose, according to U.S. prosecutors, was to obtain a no-bid contract to manage the prestigious Bangkok International Film Festival. The FBI said the Greens’ company received $10 million under the contract. The Greens, now out on bail, pleaded not guilty and had their trial postponed from February until September 2008.
The FBI didn’t name the Thai official. But Juthamas Siriwan headed the Tourism Authority of Thailand from 2001 to 2006 and was in charge of the film festival. She has denied any wrongdoing and threatened to sue anyone implicating her in the case. Soon after news of the Greens’ arrest in the U.S. broke last year, she resigned from her post as deputy chair of Thailand’s Puea Pandin (People’s Power) Party.
During its investigation, the FBI apparently sent agents to Bangkok, where they observed and may have listened to meetings between the Greens and Ms. Siriwan. Some of the evidence cited by the Thai Department of Special Investigation might have come from the FBI. If the DSI has collected more evidence on its own and is sharing it with U.S. authorities, the Greens could be in for a rough ride.
View prior posts about the Greens here.
View the FBI’s Affidavit here.