Ex-TOT chief faces jail, B46bn fine over AIS deal

Ex-TOT chief faces jail, B46bn fine over AIS deal

The Court of Appeal for Corruption and Misconduct Cases has sentenced Sudharm Malila, former president of the Telephone Organisation of Thailand, to six years in jail and ordered him to repay 46.85 billion baht to TOT for wrongfully amending a concession contract to favour Advanced Info Service Plc.

The court on Tuesday, in a written ruling, overturned the decision by the Criminal Court for Corruption for Misconduct Cases to acquit him.

The Appeal Court found that Mr Sudharm changed a contract between TOT and AIS on May 15, 2001, to reduce the revenue sharing that concessionaire AIS would pay to TOT for AIS's 1-2-Call prepaid mobile phone service from 25-30% to 20% during some years of the concession period, Thai media reported.

AIS had requested the reduction. The court also found that he concealed the change from the TOT board.

The court ordered 46.85-billion-baht repayment, or half the estimated damage to TOT.

The reports said Mr Sudharm intended to take the case to the Supreme Court. He was released on bail of 800,000 baht and prohibited from leaving the country without prior permission.

The alleged offence occurred during the first year of the Thaksin Shinawatra government. Thaksin was the founder and owner of AIS, which was later sold to Singapore interests as part of the highly controversial sale of his IT and telecommunications conglomerate Shin Corporation for more than a billion dollars without paying taxes. 

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