The Supreme Court president has said there is a long way to go before the fight against corruption in Thailand is successful.
Methinee Chalothorn was speaking at a lecture on the role of judicial justice in resolving corruption in Thailand at the headquarters of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) yesterday.
She said that many in the country expected corruption to decline due to an increase in anti-corruption campaigns along with numerous graft cases being taken to court and convictions made.
However, there remains a large backlog of cases pending investigations by the NACC, the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission and court trials, Ms Methinee said.
“We have to admit that we may not be able to reach the target of eliminating corruption anytime soon, though I believe we are now heading in the right direction,” Ms Methinee said.
She said the severity of corruption may not be easily visible to the naked eye as are other crimes such as murder.
Therefore, she said, those who committed corrupt acts felt they could do so easily, especially as they did not see the immediate adverse outcomes of their actions. Instead, they typically benefited, prompting them to commit further offences, Ms Methinee said.
“Sometimes, it involves mutual benefit. The givers [of a bribe] are willing to give because they think this is worth it and the recipients are also glad to accept [a bribe] because they think this is their opportunity,” Ms Methinee said.
“We may have heard that bad guys think their bad actions are alright until they have to suffer as a result of their actions. In this regard, the justice system must play a role in speeding up the result,” she said.
All agencies involved in the judicial process must adjust their roles and attach importance to administering justice in an accurate, fair, swift, transparent and accountable manner, she said.
Ms Methinee stressed that the speed in administering justice is vital.
“Justice delayed is justice denied,” she said, adding that agencies involved must prioritise corruption cases and mete out punishment that offenders deserve, which serves as a warning to others.
“If a case takes 4-5 years before the offender is punished by the court, people may forget how serious the case was,” she said, adding speed in handling some cases is necessary to deter a repeat of similar offences.Internet Explorer Channel Network