CONTROVERSIAL AUDIO : Doctored clip linked to firm close to Thaksin family

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‘Doctored clip came from SC Asset’

ICT Ministry probe shows traces of editing in three-minute electronic file

The doctored audio clip related to the Songkran mayhem has its origin at SC Asset, a property development company run by Yingluck Shinawatra, sister of former premier Thaksin  Shinawatra, Democrat Party spokesman Buranaj Smutharaks said yesterday.

Yingluck is an active supporter of the Pheu Thai Party.

The doctored clip was sent from the company to the Pheu Thai’s public relations and information technology office before being distributed to about 30 reporters on the politics beat and circulated on the Internet, Buranaj said.

The clip, in circulation since Tuesday, was designed to smear Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, Buranaj said.

The timing of the clip’s release appeared to have an ulterior motive to rouse the crowds ahead of tomorrow’s rally by the red shirts, he said.

Abhisit yesterday confronted a Pheu Thai Party MP, Somchai Phetpraset, over the audio clip. He caught Somchai off-guard when he asked the MP from whom he had received the clip.

Somchai met the prime minister to submit a letter to complain about alleged corruption in an Army purchase project.

“It’s good to meet you here. Some said the audio clip came from you. Where did you get it?” Abhisit asked.

Somchai appeared stunned and scrambled to deny any knowledge about it: “It wasn’t me. I knew nothing.”

“Really! You knew nothing, really?” Abhisit shot back.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology said yesterday that an examination of the audio clip in question discovered traces of editing in the three-minute-long electronic file.

Sue Lo-utai, permanent secretary of the ICT Ministry, said that experts from the media company, Kantana, were asked to analyse the clip and they found that at least 16 points covering 80 per cent of the file were altered.

ICT Minister Ranongruk Suwanchawee confirmed yesterday that the audio clip was doctored, citing findings by Kantana. She said that it was an offence against the Computer Crime Act to spread the file through the Internet, adding that the violator would face an imprisonment of up to five years and a maximum fine of Bt100,000.

By The Nation
Published on August 29, 2009

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