Juthamas Siriwan is to be charged with accepting $1.8 million of bribes from U.S. filmmakers Gerald Green (“Rescue Dawn”) and his wife Patricia Green in connection with contracts to run the Bangkok Film Festival.
The Greens were found guilty in 2009 by a U.S. court of making payments to Siriwan in exchange for contracts that allowed them to run the festival between 2002 and 2006. They were sentenced to six months of home detention and required to pay $250,000 of restitution.
Siriwan was governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand which administered the festival, and received the backhanders, through payments to bank accounts in Singapore, Jersey and the U.K. She has so far escaped legal action.
In 2013 Thailand’s National Anti-Corruption Commission presented a case to the country’s Office of the Attorney General, but the OAG threw it out for lack of evidence.
However, Vichai Vivitsevi, an NACC member, this week said that a prosecution by the OAG will now go ahead. Thailand will also seek return of the bribes, the Bangkok Post reported.