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DSI to hand film graft case to NCCC

( - The Department of Special Investigation plans to wrap up its investigation of allegations that the director of Thai tourism took millions in bribes for the Bangkok Film Festival and hand it to a separate anti-graft agency.

Col Piyawat Kingket, commander of the DSI Special Crime Office, said his agency will submit its report on the bribe allegations to the Office of the National Counter Corruption Commission this week.

It was unclear what that will mean to the pending case against former Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Juthamas Siriwan. She has been accused of receiving $1.7 million in bribes from Americans Gerald Green and his wife Patricia in return for permission to run the festival.

The US couple established a company to bid for the management contract for the Bangkok festival, held annually, and allegedly conspired with others to bribe Mrs Juthamas.

She threatened to sue the US Justice Department if it linked her to the case against the Greens - but it did, and she didn't. Instead, it filed a number of documents accusing Mrs Juthamas' daughter and others of laundering the bribe money for Mrs Juthamas.

Col Piyawat said that by turning the case over to the NCCC, the anti-graft agency can file charges and proceed with a case, presumably against Mrs Juthamas.

But it is likely the NCCC will have to "follow up" on the DSI's investigation with a probe of its own.


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