The hearing on the motion of former TAT Governor Juthamas Siriwan and her daughter, Jittisopa Siriwan, to dismiss the U.S. indictment against them has been continued from 20 October 2011 until 30 November 2011. The Siriwans’s challenge of the U.S. indictment against them is of significance to the use of U.S. money laundering and other charges generally against foreign officials as the U.S. becomes increasing more aggressive in the enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The Siriwans’s motion raises a variety of complex and interesting issues. The Siriwans argue, among other things, that the U.S. money laundering charges are not “separate and distinct” from the alleged bribes under U.S. law.
The Siriwans also raise interesting issues of international and Thai law arguing, for example, that “Thailand exercises a recognized form of exclusive jurisdiction over the acts of its public officials acting as an agent of the state abroad” and the U.S. should therefore refrain from exercising jurisdiction over the Siriwans under the law of nations.
This motion has potentially important ramifications on U.S. law – in particular the use of money laundering charges in FCPA cases – that go far beyond the interests of the individual parties in this case.