Thursday, January 24, 2008

Producer, wife plead not guilty in Bangkok International Film Festival bribery scandal

Indicted for violation of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Hollywood producer Gerald Green, 75, and his wife, Patricia Green, 52, have pleaded not guilty in a Los Angeles courtroom.

The Greens are accused of paying more than US$900,000 in bribes to a Thai government official in exchange for allowing the Greens' company, Festival Management, to run the Bangkok International Film Festival.

They were arrested on December 17, at Los Angeles International Airport, after arriving on a flight from Thailand, according to the Associated Press.

The ensuing scandal has tainted the Thai government official, who has been identified as Juthamas Siriwan, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand from 2002 to 2006, and president of the Bangkok International Film Festival from 2003 to 2006. The arrest of the Greens came just days before the December 23 general election in Thailand, with Juthamas as a deputy leader of one of the parties. She resigned from the Puea Pandin (For the Motherland) party, which has since become a partner in a new coalition government.

Festival Management had been slated to run the festival through last year, but after the 2006 military coup in Thailand, the budget for the fest was slashed, and newly appointed officials in the Tourism Authority broke the contract with the Greens.

More information:
(Via Variety, Hollywood Reporter, Google News)

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