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Siriwan, facing charges at home, asks for U.S. dismissal

The Thai official accused by the DOJ of laundering bribe money she took from two Hollywood movie producers wants the charges dropped because Thailand has postponed her extradition and will put her on trial.

Juthamas Siriwan, 65, the former governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, and her daughter, Jittisopa Siriwan, 33, were indicted in the U.S. in January 2010.

They have never been in U.S. custody.

But in a court filing this month, Siriwan said the Thai government has ‘formally postponed extradition’ and has notified the U.S. of that ‘via official channels.’

In the U.S., Siriwan and her daughter face eight counts of conspiracy to launder money, transporting funds to promote unlawful activity, and aiding and abetting. The DOJ is also seeking criminal forfeiture against them.

Siriwan, pictured above, allegedly accepted $1.8 million in bribes from Gerald and Patricia Green. The Greens were convicted of FCPA violations and money laundering and served six-month jail terms.

The DOJ said they won $13.5 million in contracts to produce the Bangkok film festival when Siriwan was in charge of the event.

Siriwan said her court filing that the Thai government plans to prosecute her ‘as a supporter’ of the Greens’ criminal activities in Thailand.

Under a double jeopardy provision in the U.S. – Thai extradition, Siriwan argues she can’t be put on trial in the U.S. if she’s prosecuted for the same crimes in Thailand.

She also says the U.S. court should defer to Thailand’s sovereign decision to press charges against her.

A status hearing in federal court in Los Angeles is set for November 29.

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1 Comment

  1. To postpone extradition is to "diplomatically decline",I believe. The truth to be proven in Thai court is exactly the same as American prosecutor will have to prove in US court. It's not fair for defendants to be testified twice the same fact. Why have to wait until the case in Thai court be accomplished? Prosecution of money laundering, according to the extradition agreement between Thai and US, the US may ask Thailand to prosecute Siriwans on behalf of US government, instead of extradition.

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