Updated: Vindictive, petty and a warning to others

In our previous post on double standards, we mentioned deputy police chief Srivara Ransibrahmanakul’s chagrin at not being able to arrest Yingluck Shinawatra supporters last week. His  vindictive and petty response, probably ordered by The Dictator, was to go after that “21 taxi and van drivers who drove the [Yingluck] fans to the court because they were not licensed to drive in Nonthaburi province where the court is.”

And the cops have actually done it. One report states:

Ten van drivers have been charged by police and could be fined up to 50,000 baht or even jailed for taking supporters of former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra to the Supreme Court last week.

They are accused of “providing the service without a contract.” Who would have guessed? Are they making this up? It certainly is petty and vindictive.

Another four face a possible penalty of 20,000 baht and/or a jail term of one year for running outside their approved route.

All 21 drivers have been ordered to report to police by Monday or face arrest.

A report at The Nation suggests that the cops are acting on bureaucratic instinct, demanding that the drivers prove their innocence: “Thung Song Hong deputy police chief … said the owners must show proof that they were permitted to drive outside a permitted route and use their vans for that purpose.”

The reason for this ridiculous fabrication is that the junta wants to threaten all drivers who might bring people to Bangkok when Yingluck next appears, on 25 August. Perhaps The Dictator might consider banning trains and all bus and tour operators from working for a week before the  25th. That would seem in line with the junta’s current state of panic.

Update: With breathtaking speed, the junta has had its courts fine van operators for ferrying supporters to Yingluck’s court appearance: “Three van operators whose vehicles were used to transport supporters of ex-prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra to the Supreme Court last Tuesday for her rice scheme trial were fined 5,000 baht to 15,000 baht on Tuesday by the Criminal Court.”

Of course, this speed is because the military dictatorship wants to threaten others who might do this on 25 August.

While there are a few occasions where courts make decisions based on law, the junta has mangled law and politicized the courts.

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