The oddness of Pastrygate


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Pastrygate has been sharing the limelight with the censure debate. The whole debacle raises many issues and is one of the oddest stories of the year so far. Three of Thaksin’s lawyers were jailed on Wednesday for six months for trying to give a court official 2 million baht contained in a “pastry” box. The alleged bribe attempt happened on the same day that Thaksin and his wife were due in court on charges of violating graft laws.

Firstly, since when did 2-million-baht bribes start being dished out in pastry boxes? It’s absurd. You would have thought that three of Thaksin’s lawyers, who are presumably three of the most well-paid, well-educated lawyers in Thailand, would be smarter than that.

Furthermore, why would they just give 2 million baht to a court official? Where is the logic in a random gift such as this?

One of the lawyers initially came up with the lame excuse that a driver had mistakenly taken an identical box containing chocolates, leaving the hapless lawyers with the box of money. The lawyers said that the chocolates, not the money, were intended for the court official, which is still rather strange.

That ludicrous story was quickly dropped. The lawyer admitted that the money belonged to him. I guess the hole in this story is proving one way or another to whom the money belonged. The 2 million baht was reportedly given back to the lawyer after he gave it to the court official.

Thaksin, of course, has tried to distance himself from this story. While I am certain that Thaksin, his wife and his lawyers are smart enough that there is no way Thaksin could be linked to this case, you would have thought that they were smart enough for this not to happen in the first place. After years of corruption in Thailand, it’s odd for such a case to suddenly come to light.

The key, as I see it, is determining exactly where the 2 million came from. Bank accounts need to be scrutinized to get to the bottom of the matter. It’s a lot of money and it must be traceable. Thaksin can deny any knowledge of the bribery money, but if there were a way to link him to it, then the case is thrown wide open.

Perhaps most interesting is the speed with which the three lawyers have been sentenced. Two of the lawyers are in prison already while the third is AWOL. The timing of this whole incident is bizarre.

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2 thoughts on “The oddness of Pastrygate

  1. I have just spotted the term Pastrygate from this post and have put #pastrygate into twitterworld. I wonder who coined the term. You are wicked!

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