BANGKOK – Juthamas Siriwan has called a press conference for later today (Thursday). She is expected to announce that she has resigned as deputy head of the Puea Pandin Party and that she will no longer contest the upcoming general parliamentary election on Sunday (Dec 23.) However, she is expected to maintain her innocence in the bribery and corruption scandal concerning the Bangkok Int’l Film Festival.
The resignation and withdrawal represent a major change of position by Siriwan since Wednesday’s afternoon press conference when she described the allegations as “mud-slinging” and “not directly related to Thailand.” She also threatened to sue the U.S. Justice Department.
Siriwan is the former Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand and former prexy of the BKKIFF who was identified by the U.S. authorities as having been the ultimate recipient of $1.7 million of bribes. The bribes were allegedly paid by U.S. movie producer and head of Film Festival Management Gerald Green and his wife Patricia in order to secure contracts to manage the festival and other events between 2003 and 2006.
The Greens were arrested on Dec 7 and the case unsealed by a Federal Court in Los Angeles on Tuesday.