Pattaya’s former top lawyer said he will drop a libel case against a Jomtien Beach masseuse after she apologized for publicly accusing him of masterminding a plan to have municipal police extort hefty bribes from beach vendors to fund a New Year’s party.
Pakjira Wuthiphan made her apologies personally to Sretapol Boonsawat before Pattaya police and Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh March 26. Sretapol, who headed Pattaya attorney’s office before taking over the leader of a Jomtien Beach massage association, accepted her apology but warned her not to make such accusations again.
Pakjira had gone on local cable television claiming Sretapol had pushed club members to pay city hall regulatory officers up to 20,000 baht to pay for their holiday party. A group of municipal police were suspended in the bribery scandal late in January and Pattaya’s mayor ordered an investigative panel immediately probe the complaints brought by the beach vendors.
Sretapol denied any part in the scandal, saying Pakjira’s accusations damaged his reputation and brought public ridicule on him.
Libel, a criminal offense in Thailand, carries a penalty of up to two years in prison and a fine of up to 200,000 baht.