Friday, April 30, 2010

Sentencing in Bangkok film fest bribery scandal postponed over age concerns

How will prison affect 78-year-old Gerald Green?

That's what a judge wants to know in the case of a Hollywood producer couple convicted of paying bribes to a Thai official so they could run the Bangkok International Film Festival.

Set for yesterday in Los Angeles, Judge George Wu postponed the sentencing yet again. He's concerned whether Mr. Green, an emphysema sufferer who's been hooked to an oxygen bottle for his court appearances, can handle the 10 years of prison prosecutors are seeking. He's asking for doctor's reports on Green's health.

The Wrap has the story.

Gerald is the producer of such films as Salvador and the Thailand-set prisoner-of-war drama Rescue Dawn. He and his wife Patricia were convicted last year of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. They were found guilty on charges of bribery and money laundering.

The U.S. Justice Department says that from 2002 to 2006, the Greens paid $1.8 million in bribes to Juthamas Siriwan, the then-governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand. The payments were kickbacks in return for guarantees the Greens would run the Bangkok International Film Festival and have a hand in other TAT projects. Under Juthamas and the Greens from 2004 to 2006, the Bangkok International Film Festival gained a reputation as a glitzy, red-carpet-festooned affair, with appearances by major Hollywood stars and lavish banquets. They showed films too.

Juthamas stepped down as TAT governor in 2006. After a military coup removed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra from office, Juthamas headed a political party and stood for election in 2007, but dropped out after the Greens were arrested that year.

The U.S. has indicted Juthamas, and she presumably remains at large. Somewhere. Maybe in Bangkok.

The next sentencing hearing for the Greens is now set for June 3.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please, no questions or comments about where to download movies or subtitle files.

Please read the FAQ about Thai films on DVD before asking about where to find a Thai movie on DVD with English subtitles.

Make your comments pertinent to the post you are commenting on. For off-topic comments, general observations or news tips, consider sending an e-mail to me at wisekwai [ a t ] g m a i l [d o t ] c o m.

All comments are moderated. Spam comments will be deleted.