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Thai Minister for Court Rules may keep job despite suspected link to heroin trafficking
According to the ruling, Thammanat Prompao, deputy agriculture minister and power broker in Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha’s ruling coalition, did not violate the constitution because he was not convicted. by a Thai court.

“Although Thammanat received a judgment, it came from a court in New South Wales, Australia … but not a judgment from a Thai court and therefore it is not prohibited to practice its functions on the basis of the constitution, ”he said in his ruling.

Thammanat rejected reports from two Australian newspapers, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age, that he had been jailed there for four years for drug trafficking. The newspapers maintained their stories.

In its ruling on the complaint of 51 opposition politicians, the Thai court said it had asked Parliament and the Foreign Office for evidence of the conviction, including Australian court rulings from 1994 and 1995. , which had not been returned.

Thammanat said he was taken with flour, not heroin. He did, however, admit to having been convicted of an unspecified minor offense in Australia.

Thammanat was involved in forming the Prayuth-led coalition following an election in 2019 that saw him remain prime minister, five years after leading a military coup against an elected government.

Opposition parties have said the rules for the election were drafted to ensure victory for Prayuth’s party, which he rejects.

Prayuth has since consolidated power, aided by the Constitutional Court’s disqualification of the Future Forward Party, a move that sparked months of youth-led protests demanding his resignation and reform of the Thai monarchy.

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