Beer heiress seeking help from Justice fund for the poor
published : 7 Jun 2018 at 16:27
A Singha beer heiress seeking assistance from a Justice Ministry fund to help defendants meet court bail has been given until June 21 to submit a list of her assets and verify she is a low-income earner registered with the government.
Justice deputy permanent secretary Thawatchai Thaikhiew said on Thursday that Chitpas Kridakorn had filed a request on May 28 that the Justice Fund place money as bail surety in legal cases against her arising from the street protests against the Yingluck Sinawatra government.
Ms Chitpas, aka "Tant'', earlier sought postponement of a meeting with public prosecutors to hear their decision on insurrection and other police charges arising from the anti-government protests.
Ms Chitpas, a co-leader of the former People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), cited her waiting for financial assistance from the Justice Fund as a reason for the delay.
Mr Thawatchai said any applicants for Justice Fund assistance were required to submit documents showing their financial status within 15 days of the request being submitted. She was initially asked to submit the documents on May 11.
The justice deputy permanent secretary said he had no information confirming Ms Chitpas had submitted any documents.
The required documents include a list of all assets. If the defendant was a low-income earner registered with the government and not regarded as a flight risk, she could receive financial assistance from the fund.
In principle, everyone could submit a request for financial assistance, but the fund, set up in 2006, gave priority to poor people facing legal charges, Mr Thawatchai said.
The general public were aware of this, but Ms Chitpas may not know about it, he added. Her social status could not generally be used to verify her assets. In the past, she may have been wealthy but maybe she no longer had the means to meet her bail requirements, he said.
The ministry would ensure the fair treatment of all applicants and examine any documents submitted. Ms Chitpas' request would be approved, or not, depending on the documentation, said Mr Thawatchai.
The ministry did not have a double standard and was willing to help all groups and people if they met the fund's requirements.
The Justice Fund office recently sent Ms Chitpas a letter informing her of the documents she must submit to support her application, and extending the deadline for the submission from June 11 to June 21.
Ms Chitpas was formerly known as Chitpas Bhirombhakdi, and is a daughter of the family that owns the Boonrawd Brewery empire.
She was a core anti-government protest leader in the 2013-2014 street campaigns led by Suthep Thaugsuban.
On Dec 23, 2013 her father, Jutinan, announced his daughter would change her surname, to allow her to continue political activities without further hurting the family business.