Gotcha!, Thaksin, The Liar II
( Last edit 2010-02-26 )
The Supreme Court's Verdict on Thaksin:
Crooked Thaksin's Bouncing Cheques in 1980
Under The Name of His Majesty The King
Number 149/2532(1989) Supreme Court
January 20, 1989
A Civil Suit Between
Mrs.Chamoi Chua-Prasert, the plaintiff
Mr.Sant Samitvej, the first defendant
Police Major Thaksin Shinawatra, the second defendant
A Case of Cheque
The second defendant appealed against the Appeal Court's verdict dated November 10, 1986.
The plaintiff filed a law suit that the plaintiff duely held a 1.3 million baht Cheque of Bank of Asia Co., Ltd. Chiang Mai branch, number 1076909 dated September 29, 1982. The cheque signed by the first defendant, was issued to the plaintiff in order to settle a debt and was endorsed by the second defendant to guarantee the cheque on behalf of the first defendant. When the cheque was due, in order to collect the money from the cheque issuer's bank, the plaintiff deposited the cheque in a plaintiff's account at Siam Commercial Bank Co., Ltd. Siam Square branch, Bangkok. It turned out that the bank refused to pay on October 5, 1982 with an explaination in the cheque returning slip, "Please contact the cheque's issuer". The plaintiff informed both defendants to pay back several times but both defendants ignored.
The plaintiff wishes to charge the 7.5 per cent per year interest on the 1.3 million baht principal, starting from October 5, 1982 to the procesuting date, making a one-year interest of 97,500 baht plus the 7.5 per cent per year interest on the 1.3 million baht principal, starting from the prosecuting date until the date is paid up.
The first defendant opposed that the first defendant did not owe the plaintiff as litigated. The debt was only 750,000 baht. The first defendant had already partially paid for the debt. The plaintiff had charged interests at the rates of 5 to 7 per cent per month and compounded the outstanding interests which were illegal. As a result, the first defendant was not to be responsible for the whole debts as litigated and the case was to be dismissed.
The second defendant opposed that the plaintiff was not the cheque holder as litigated. The plaintiff had unduly acquired the cheque. The signature endorsed on the back of the cheque which the plaintiff claimed that it guaranteed the payment of the cheque did not belong to the second defendant. The plaint was obscured because it did not clearly describe how the plaintiff had acquired the cheque in dispute from the first defendant and for which debt. As a result, the second defendant did not know how to defend the case of the cheque and the case was to be dismissed.
The Court of the First Instance deliberated and ruled that the plaint was not obscured. The first defendant had been the cheque issuer as charged. The second defendant signed to endorse the cheque. Therefore, the verdict was for the two defendants to jointly pay 1.3 million baht plus the 7.5 per cent per year interest from October 5, 1982 until the completion of the payment. Additionally, both defendants were to jointly pay for the court fee and the lawyer fee was to be 5,000 baht.
The second defendant appealed. The Appeal Court deliberated and reached the same verdict. The appealing lawyer fee was to be 2,000 baht.
The second defendant petitioned to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court examined the case file and conferred. Deliberation revealed that the plaintiff attested that in September 1980 the second defendant had baught a cinema theater plus the land from Mr.Thamanon Samitvej, the father of the first defendant, at the price of 8.5 million baht. The price as stated in the contract was however declared less than 8.5 million baht. The second defendant assigned Mrs.Potjaman Shinawatra, his spouse, to sign as the buyer while the second defendant signed a consent, as appeared in the exhibit J3. There was a partial payment in cash. The rest was paid for with several cheques which the second defendant was the issuers.
Later, the first defendant paid for a debt which he owed to the plaintiff with the three cheques issued by the second defendant. They are cheques: one from Thai Farmers Bank, Krung Thon bridge branch dated September 29, 1982, amounting 1.3 million baht as appeared in the photocopy exhibits J4 and J5; and another cheque dated September 29, 1983 , amounting 1.8 million baht which was not photocopied. When the cheque in the exhibit J4 was due, the plaintiff deposited the cheque but the bank refused to pay, explaining that the account had been closed as appeared in the photocopy of the cheque returning slip, exhibit J4.
The plaintiff contacted the second defendant to pay for the cheque. The second defendant arranged an appointment to meet at the second defendant's office at the Police Department on April 16, 1982. On the appointment date, the plaintiff and his lawyer, Mr.Nopsul Swasdiwethin as well as the first defendant went to meet the second defendant at the second defendant's office. A negotiation took place in which the second defendant finally conceded to issue a new cheque but requested the return of the previously bouncing cheque. The second defendant claiming that he had not opened a new bank account, therefore, he asked the first defendant to issue a new cheque which the second defendant would sign to endorse to guarantee the payment to the plaintiff. The plaintiff agreed. The first defendant then issued three cheques to the plaintiff while the second defendant endorsed those cheques in front of the plaintiff and Mr.Nopsul.
One is a cheque from Asia Bank Co., Ltd. Chiang Mai branch dated September 29, 1982, worth 1.3 million baht as appeared in exhibit J.6 which is the disputable cheque in this lawsuit. Others are a cheque from Asia Trust Bank Co., Ltd. Chiang Mai branch dated October 1, 1983 worth 1.8 million baht
and cheque from Asia Trust Bank Co., Ltd. Chiang Mai branch dated October 1, 1984 worth 1.8 million baht as appeared in exhibit J.7 and J.8 accordingly. (The plaintiff requested to submit only photocopies instead because the originals were submitted to the lawsuits in Chiang Mai provincial court.)
When the cheques were due, the plaintiff requested the payment but the bank refused on October 5, 1982. Then, the plaintiff pressed the claim to both defendants, but both defendants ignored it.
The first defendant was absent from the court's sessions.
The second defendant attested that he knew the plaintiff but did not owe to the plaintiff and did not issue any cheques as charged. In 1982, the second defendant baught a movie theater and the piece of land from the father of the first defendant at 8.5 million baht. The payment was with five cheques of Thai Farmers Bank, Krung Thon bridge branch, one cheque worth of 1.3 million baht, and four cheques worth of 1.8 million baht each, dated at one year interval. The first defendant agreed with the second defendant that the cheques must not be cashed from the bank. All the cheques were eventually cashed from the second defendant. On April 26, 1982, the second defendant took a sick leave and did not go to work.
Having deliberated the case, the facts initially reached are that the first defendant issued the cheque as charged which was given to the plaintiff. When the cheque was due, the plaintiff requested the payment but the bank in charge of the cheque refused on October 5, 1982.
The appeal by the second defendant that the plaint was obscured because of the lack of essential description of the cheque-attributable debt, is considered unreasonable because the cheque was issued for the purpose of indemnification to the cheque holder. Legally, the holder is the payee and the signer is liable according to what is written on the cheque. The plaintiff described that the first defendant signed the cheque to authorize the payment and the second defendant endorsed on the back of the cheque. The plaintiff requested the payment but the bank refused the payment. Consequently, the plaintiff filed to enforce both defendants for indemnity according to the cheque. Although the plaintiff did not describe the cheque-attributable debt, the plaint clearly described the accusation and the requests for enforcement as well as essential references for the accusation. Therefore, the plaint is unobscured as appealed by the second defendant. Thence, the appeal is not reasonable.
The second defendant appealed that he did not signed to endorse the disputed cheque and the plaintiff perjure himself and made unreliable attestation as seen from the plaintiff's testimony that the first defendant had been the cheque issuer and the second defendant signed to endorse the disputed cheque and the other two cheques at the second defendant's office on April 16, 1982, whereas in the criminal case number 52/2527(1984) in which the plaintiff sued the first defendant for violatin of the Cheques Exploitation Act with attestation and testimony that the defendant (the first defendant in this case) had issued cheques as appeared in exhibit J.7 of this case (which the plaintiff testified that they had been simultaneously issued with the disputed cheque in this case) on April 26, 1982. Additionally, in the criminal case number 24358/2527(1984) in which the second defendant sued the plaintiff for committing perjury, the defendant's lawyer, Mr.Nopsul, testified that the plaintiff and him had met with the second defendant at the second defendant's offfice on April 26, 1982 when the second defendant was absent on sick leave. The evidence was a leave letter. As a result, it was not possible for the second defendant to endorse the cheque as charged and the second defendant did not issue any cheques to the first defendant because the buyer of the cinema theatre and the land was Mrs.Potjaman, the second defendant's spouse. The second defendant was not involved.
The plaintiff and his former lawyer, Mr.Nopasul testified that the first defendant signed the cheque to authorize the payment and the second defendant signed to endorse the disputed cheque and other cheques in the exhibits J.7 and J.8 at the second defendant's office on April 26, 1982, as already noted in this supreme court's list of the plaintiff's assertion.
In turn, the second defendant claimed the sick leave letter dated April 26, 1982 to be an evidence to prove that the plaintiff perjured himself and disprove the plaintiff's evidences that the endorsement of the cheque was not signed by the second defendant. The second defendant appealed that when the plaintiff filed a criminal lawsuit case number 52/2527(1984), in Chiang Mai provincial court, agaisnt the first defendant, the plaint and the testimonies said that the first defendant issued the cheques on April 26, 1982 as appeared in the photocopies and the plaintiff's witnesses' testimonies, per attached exhibit number 1 and number 2. Additionally, Mr.Nopasul, the former lawyer of the plaintiff testified for the plaintiff (the second defendant in this case) in the criminal case number 24358/2527(1984) that the plaintiff (of this case) and Mr.Nopasul met with the second defendant at the second defendant's office at the Police Department on April 26, 1982, not on April 16, 1982, as appeared in the exhibit number 3.
Deliberation of the court revealed that, formerly Mr.Nopasul was the plaintiff's lawyer in this case and was the authorized signer on behalf of of the plaintiff and was the editor of the plaint in the criminal case number black 52/2527(1984) at Chiang Mai provincial court. In this case, after the second defendant had submitted the appeal, Mr.Nopasul, as the plaintiff's lawyer then, submitted a request dated August 6, 1987 to withdraw the lawsuit claiming that the plaintiff and the second defendant had reached a compromise while the second defendant did not oppose the request. The court of the first instance summoned the litigants to enquire about the withdrawal of the plaint. On the day of the appointment, the plaintiff and the new lawyer attested that the plaintiff never agreed or consented to withdraw the lawsuit as Mr.Nopasul had requested. The plaintiff insisted to proceed with the lawsuit in the supreme court.
The supreme court has deliberated such incidences and sees that the plaint in the criminal case number 52/2527(1984) of Chiang Mai provincial court and the testimony of the Mr.Nopasul in the criminal case number 24358/2527(1984) of the criminal court do not disprove or invalidate the plaintiff's evidences as the second defendant's appealed. Why the plaintiff testified in those cases that the first defendant issued the cheque on April 26, 1982, might be due to confusion or the necessity to follow what was writen in the plaint. However, the date when the first defendant signed to authorize the payment and the second defendant signed to endorse the cheque either on April 16 or 26, 1982 is not the essential matter for this case.
To the question whether or not the second defendant had signed to endorse the cheque, the second defendant did not testify to deny his endorsing signature on the cheque.
Regarding the attributable debt to the cheque, the second defendant testified that in 1980, the second defendant had bought a cinema theatre and the land from the father of the first defendant at 8.5 million baht which were paid with 5 Thai Farmers Bank cheques, being one worth of 1.3 million baht, and four worth of 1.8 million baht which personally belonged to the second defendant. The second defedant attested that the first defendant had already cashed all those cheques with the second defendant. However, such statement is only verbal testimony by the second defendant without evidence and other supporting testimony. Therefore, the substantiated facts are that the second defendant had signed to endorse the disputed cheque and why the first defendant had issued the disputed cheque and the second defendant endorsed it was because of the debt according to what the plaintiff attested. Both defendants therefore have to be liable to pay the plaintiff according to the disputed cheque. The appeal is not reasonable. The second defendant requested the supreme court for an expert to examine the signature endorsed on the cheque but the supreme court had already ordered about the matter and will not reorder.
The verdict of the Appeal Court is confirmed. Also, the second defendant, on behalf of the plaintiff, is to pay 3,000 baht for the lawyer fee at the supreme court level.
The body of the Supreme Court judges,