Thailand enacts anti-corruption law, implicating foreigners

Controversial new anti-corruption law accepted, extending capital punishment to foreigners

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Thailand announced on Tuesday that it extended its anti-corruption law scope by including non-Thai workers for foreign governments and international organisations.

With the new arrangement which took effect on July 9, the punishments to foreigners are extended who work for foreign governments and international organisations in Thailand.

Previous legislation compromised several punishments, including death penalty for the Thai officials who were subject of the corruption but before this, there was no capital punishment for the officials.  

Thai military government which grabbed the power after a coup against the country’s elected civilian government last year, vowed to solve the corruption which is seen as country’s major problem.   

The attempt allegedly came as a part of reform movement which aims to clean up Thai policy from older actors, especially targeting former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra who was toppled with the 2006’s military coup, according to the Guardian.  

Shinawatra also challenged country’s traditional elites who have links with the military and palace by setting up a powerful and popular political machine.   

The statute of limitation was also renewed. According to the new arrangement, if the convicted person flees the country, the individual is not allowed to enter for at least 20 years.

The alteration on the statute of limitations hit Thaksin Shinawatra due to being convicted with the corruption charges in 2008 and fled the country following the decision.

The previous statute of limitations was limited to rule just for 19 years to return to the country.

The Secretary General of the National Anti-Corruption Commission, Sansern Poljieak pointed on necessity of the new law saying that bribery among the public servants is a severe offense.

However Amnesty International spokesman Olof Blomqvist criticised the new law saying that "this is a huge step in the wrong direction.”

"Thailand should be working to remove the death penalty from the legal books, not expanding its scope,” he added.

TRTWorld and agencies