Chuwit: Not guilty, then 6 years later guilty?

Found not guilty by court in 2006, prosecution appealed, then six years later now he's guilty & sentenced to 5 years jail.



Photo of MP, Rak Thailand Party leader and former massage parlour tycoon Chuvit Kamolvisit. 

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Local News

Chuvit gets 5 years in beer bar case

11/09/2012
Online Reporters

Chuvit Kamolvisit, the leader of Rak Thailand Party, was sentenced to five years in jail without suspension by the Appeals Court on Tuesday, overriding the lower court's decision acquitting him in the 2003 Sukhumvit Square beer bar demolition case.

In this case, Mr Chuvit and his associates were accused of intruding into and damaging other people's property at night, and also forcefully detaining another person on Jan 26, 2003.

The owners of 135 retail shops in the six-rai Sukhumvit Square beer bar compound on the corner of Sukhumvit Soi 10 which was demolished that night, filed a complaint against Mr Chuvit and his associates. The prosecution filed suit on March 13, 2003. All pleaded not guilty.

In addition to Mr Chuvit, the defendants included Lt-Col Himalai Phiewphan and Major Thanyathep Thammathorn, then staff officers attached to the Supreme Command.

On Oct 13, 2006, the South Bangkok Criminal Court acquitted Mr Chuvit and all but one of his 130 associates in the case.

Only Chanvet Malaibucha, the 49th defendant, was sentenced to eight months in jail.

The prosecution appealed.

The Appeals Court today changed the lower court's decision, sentencing 64 defendants to jail terms ranging from five years to three years and 10 months without suspension.

Sixty-seven other defendants remain acquitted.

The jail term handed down on Mr Chuvit, Mr Chanvet, Lt-Col Himalai and Maj Thanyathep is five years each.

Following the verdict Mr Chuvit remains temporarily free without bail since he is an MP and the House is in session. Mr Chuvit, who was accompanied to the court by his wife, said he would fight his case all the way to the Supreme Court.

(Source: Bangkok Post, Local News, Chuvit gets 5 years in beer bar case, 11/09/2012, Online Reporters, link


Legal Vocabulary

double jeopardy - a second prosecution for the same offense after final judgement (acquittal or conviction) or multiple punishments for same offense; prohibited by the constitutions and laws of many countries (Note: Canada seems to be resemble Thailand:  "Canadian law allows the prosecution to appeal from an acquittal. If the acquittal is thrown out, the new trial is not considered to be double jeopardy because the first trial and its judgment would have been annulled. In rare circumstances, a court of appeal might also substitute a conviction for an acquittal. This is not considered to be double jeopardy, either – in this case, the appeal and subsequent conviction are deemed to be a continuation of the original trial") (See Wikipedia)

in jeopardy -
facing some danger (such as being damaged, harmed, destroyed or going to jail)
tycoon - very rich person

sentence (noun) - a jail sentence or jail term, a period of time that a person must spend in jail as punishment for a crime คำพิพากษา การตัดสิน
sentence (verb) - when a court orders a person to spend time in jail (jail term) พิพากษา

suspension - stopping for a period of time (temporarily)
suspended sentence - "a legal term for a judge's delaying of a defendant's serving of a sentence after they have been found guilty, in order to allow the defendant to perform a period of probation. If the defendant does not break the law during that period, and fulfills the particular conditions of the probation, the judge usually throws out the sentence" (See Wikipedia)

sentenced to five years in jail without suspension

appeal (noun) - to ask a higher court of law to change a legal decision by a lower court การอุทธรณ์
appeal
(verb) - ขออุทธรณ์

Appeals Court
the prosecution appealed

override - change a decision that has already been made
acquitted - found not guilty (of a crime by a court of law)
overriding the lower court's decision acquitting him

demolition - complete destruction of a building การรื้อถอน, การทำลาย
the 2003 Sukhumvit Square beer bar demolition case

Chuvit Kamolvisit, the leader of Rak Thailand Party, was sentenced to five years in jail without suspension by the Appeals Court on Tuesday, overriding the lower court's decision acquitting him in the 2003 Sukhumvit Square beer bar demolition case.

property - the things that you own ทรัพย์สมบัติ
other people's property
damaging other people's property
damaging other people's property at night

intrude -
enter into a place where you  are not invited and not wanted
accused of intruding into
and damaging other people's property at night

force
(noun) - making a person do something (so they have no choice, they must do) ความรุนแรง
forceful - (adjective) - with or using force
forcefully (adverb) - done with force

detain
- keep a person in jail กักขัง, กักตัว
forcefully detaining

In this case, Mr Chuvit and his associates were accused of intruding into and damaging other people's property at night, and also forcefully detaining another person on Jan 26, 2003.

retail - to sell directly to the public for their own use ขายปลีก
owners of retail shops

compound
- an area enclosed by a fence or wall in which people work or live บริเวณ  บริเวณบ้าน
the six-rai Sukhumvit Square beer bar compound

demolished
- destroy completely ทำลายให้สิ้นซาก

filed
- to take official action, e.g., to make a formal complaint ยื่นฟ้องร้อง
complaint - when someone says that something is wrong or not satisfactory การร้องเรียน
filed a complaint against Mr Chuvit and his associates

prosecution
(noun) - the person or organisation that tries to prove in court that someone has committed a crime อัยการ
prosecution (verb) - formally charging someone with a crime and putting them on trial

prosecution filed suit on March 13, 2003
the prosecution appealed

guilty - proven to have committed a crime (decided by a court of law that you committed the crime your were accused of) มีความผิด
All pleaded not guilty.

The owners of 135 retail shops in the six-rai Sukhumvit Square beer bar compound on the corner of Sukhumvit Soi 10 which was demolished that night, filed a complaint against Mr Chuvit and his associates. The prosecution filed suit on March 13, 2003. All pleaded not guilty.

staff - workers, employees; people who work for a company or organisation พนักงาน  
officers - people with a high ranking position in an organization
staff officers - high ranking people who work in a office of a high ranking general in the military

Supreme Command - the highest level of generals that lead the military
staff officers attached to the Supreme Command

defendant
- someone who has been accused of a crime and is on trial จำเลย

term - a period of time ช่วงเวลา
jail term - a period of time that a person must stay in jail as punishment for a crime
handed down - given
the jail term handed down 


In addition to Mr Chuvit, the defendants included Lt-Col Himalai Phiewphan and Major Thanyathep Thammathorn, then staff officers attached to the Supreme Command. On Oct 13, 2006, the South Bangkok Criminal Court acquitted Mr Chuvit and all but one of his 130 associates in the case. Only Chanvet Malaibucha, the 49th defendant, was sentenced to eight months in jail. The prosecution appealed. The Appeals Court today changed the lower court's decision, sentencing 64 defendants to jail terms ranging from five years to three years and 10 months without suspension. Sixty-seven other defendants remain acquitted. The jail term handed down on Mr Chuvit, Mr Chanvet, Lt-Col Himalai and Maj Thanyathep is five years each.

verdict - the decision of a court in a legal case
remains - stays the same, no change
temporarily - only for a limited time; not permanent ชั่วคราว

bail - money that is given to a court when someone is allowed to stay out of prison until their trial. If they do not return for the trial, the court keeps the money เงินประกัน; การประกันตัว (See Wikipedia)

session - a formal meeting of an institution such as a parliament or a court การประชุม
in session - when the meeting is happening now, meeting in progress

free
- not in jail
remains free -
still not in jail
remains temporarily
free - still not in jail (but will go to jail in the future)
remains temporarily free without bail since he is an MP and the House is in session

accompanied - went together with ติดตาม, ร่วมทาง, เดินทางไปด้วย
accompanied to the court by his wife

Following the verdict Mr Chuvit remains temporarily free without bail since he is an MP and the House is in session. Mr Chuvit, who was accompanied to the court by his wife, said he would fight his case all the way to the Supreme Court.

About the author

columnist
Writer: Jon Fernquest
Position: Online Writer