KRIRKKIAT CASE: Saxena defiant despite ruling

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Former Bangkok Bank of Commerce aide believes judgement against ex-boss will help him fight extradition proceedings

Rakesh Saxena, wanted by Thai authorities to stand trial for charges related to the defrauding of the now-defunct Bangkok Bank of Commerce (BBC), said that the Court’s recent ruling against former BBC president Krirkkiat Jalichandra had strengthened his fight against extradition proceedings under way in Canada.

“Briefly, the full ruling will show that none of the evidence upon which the Thai ruling was based has been forwarded to Canada, thus proving [finally] that the Canadian proceedings were, in essence, illegitimate from the very outset,” he told The Nation in an e-mail.

“You may recall that the Canadian proceedings were driven by the police in 1996, not by the public prosecutor’s office,” Saxena said.

Last week, the Southern Bangkok Criminal Court wrapped up four embezzlement cases against Krirkkiat and his associates and handed down a landmark verdict by sentencing Krirkkiat to 30 years in prison and a fine of Bt3.6 billion. The verdict concluded 10 years of legal proceedings against Krirkkiat, who presided over the BBC in the early 1990s before the bank collapsed during the 1997 financial crisis.

There are 27 criminal cases of banking fraud against Krirkkiat and his associates. Saxena, who served as a financial adviser for the bank, is also wanted to stand trial in some of these cases. For the past seven years, he has been fighting extradition proceedings after having left Thailand for Vancouver at the height of the financial crisis.

After the Court ruling against Krirkkiat, Police General Peeraphan Prempooti, the secretary-general of the Anti-Money Laundering Office, emerged to express hope that the verdict should help strengthen the Thai government’s case against Saxena.

“It should help the Thai government’s case for extradition,” he said.

Saxena, however, said there were a number of other related issues which will emerge, once the Thai rulings are forwarded to Canada.

“In fact, we ourselves are trying to get certified copies of the Bangkok Court decisions for purposes of asking the Canadian courts to re-examine issues like, first, the validity of the Thai warrant – not signed by a judge – in the context of the constitutional changes in October to November, 2002,” he said.

“Second, the fact that the evidence forwarded to Canada is totally unrelated to what really is happening, or has happened, in Thailand. And third, several contradictory findings of facts – the Bangkok courts ruled that the City Trading funds were never repaid while Thailand’s own evidence in Canada confirms that the bulk of the funds were actually repaid to BBC.”

“The official who made claims in the press last week obviously does not understand that we are now dealing with a host of technical and procedural issues, not the merits of the case, either in Thailand or in Canada,” Saxena added.

Published on January 24, 2005

Thanong Khanthong

The Nation

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