The Constitution Court in 2007 dissolved the Thai Rak Thai party, headed by former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra after two senior party members including Mr Thammarak were found guilty of election law violations by bribing candidates from smaller parties to compete in particular constituencies to ensure the minimum of 20-per cent eligible votes to win the seat in 2006 election was achieved.
In today’s action Mr Thammarak was given a jail term without suspension as the Criminal Court judges found him guilty of ordering state officials to commit malfeasance. The former defence minister was charged with hiring Amornwit Suwannapha, an election official, and three others to revise the database of Pattanachartthai Party members so that those who were disqualified could run against Thai Rak Thai party candidates in the April 2, 2006 election, as the election results could satisfy the requirements of the law. Mr Amornwit received 30,000 baht in return.
Mr Amornwit was handed a five-year jail term without suspension, while the three others received 40 months jail each.
Mr Thammarak was later granted bail with a Bt500,000 bond.
The court ruling was delivered on the same day as the five-year political ban on the former Thai Rak Thai party executives expired. The day began with a merit-making rite and other activities joined by Mr Thammarak's political companions. Ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra is set to phone in to a seminar at a Bangkok hotel in the evening to air his grievances from the 2006 coup which removed him from power.
Jaturon Chaisang, one of the former TRT executives, commented that the ruling on the Thammarak case was neither related to the expiry of political ban nor the now-defunct Thai Rak Thai party and other persons. He said Thammarak might consider filing an appeal.
Mr Jaturon criticised the decision on the party dissolution case which he described as unjustified and that the court was unable to deliver a clear explanation of the party's wrongdoing.
"It was the coupmakers' ticket determined beforehand to destroy the rule of law," he stated.
He pledged to push ahead with the charter amendment that will pave the way for full-fledged democracy.