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Report: Siriwan faces Thailand indictment for film festival bribery

Thailand’s attorney general and the top anti-corruption agency have jointly agreed to indict former Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Juthamas Siriwan for taking bribes in connection with the Bangkok Film Festival.

Vichai Vivitsevi of the National Anti-Corruption Commission said Wednesday a joint panel of members from his agency and the attorney general’s office had developed evidence showing Siriwan “committed criminal offenses as a former state official,” the Bangkok Post said.

In 2010, the U.S. Justice Department charged Siriwan and her daughter in an eight-count indictment for money laundering and related offenses. The DOJ said Siriwan accepted $1.8 million in bribes from Hollywood movie producers Gerald Green and his wife Patricia. In return, the Greens won contracts worth $13.5 million to produce the Bangkok Film Festival.

The Greens were convicted in 2009 of FCPA violations and money laundering and served six-month jail terms.

Siriwan, 67, and her daughter have never been in U.S. custody. The case against them is still pending in federal court in Los Angeles. An indictment in Thailand could mean the U.S. case would be dismissed.

In a court filing in the U.S. case in late 2012, Siriwan said the Thai government had formally notified the United States that Thailand had postponed her extradition and would put her on trial.

But until this week, Thailand’s attorney general had said the evidence against Siriwan was incomplete.

Siriwan has argued that a double jeopardy provision in the U.S. – Thai extradition treaty means she can’t be put on trial in the U.S. if she’s prosecuted for the same crimes in Thailand.

The next status conference in the U.S. case against her is scheduled for December 4.

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Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.

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