Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Appeal court acquits Worawi in forgery case

Apr 22. 2017
Narinpong Jinapak
Narinpong Jinapak
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By The Nation

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DISGRACED former Football Association of Thailand president Worawi Makudi is yet to decide about returning to football administration even though the Court of Appeal overruled the lower court’s verdict and acquitted him of forgery charges, his lawyer said yesterday.

Lower league club Pattaya FC had filed a lawsuit against Worawi and then-Thai League chairman Ong-art Korsinkha. The court had convicted the two of forgery for using fake documents at the association’s general assembly four years ago.

Both were each handed two-year prison terms plus a fine of Bt6,000. The then court decided to reduce the punishment term by one-fourth on grounds that this was their first conviction, and commuted the jail term to a suspended sentence.

However, Worawi, who served as the FA president for almost a decade after taking the post in 2007, has now been acquitted of the crime that had become the main cause of his downfall.

“On Thursday, the Court of Appeal upheld their plea and overruled the lower court’s verdict, saying it believed Worawi and Ong-art had no intention to commit a crime,” said Narinpong Jinapak, Worawi’s lawer.

“The court also ruled that the assembly had agreed to allow the defendants to amend the association’s regulations without the need for prior approval since they thought both Worawi and Ong-art were innocent.”

The court case against Worawi led to him being banned from football for five years by Fifa.

Narinpong confirmed that he would forward the appeal court’s verdict to the world football governing body in a bid to seek annulment of his suspension from football-related activities.

Nevertheless, Narinpong stopped short of confirming whether Worawi would resume his career in football administration.

“As to whether he will continue to work for Thai football, I can’t speak for him. He needs to address that question. Over the past two years, he was seen as a convicted guy. We also currently have a president who legitimately won the post in an election.

“So, maybe he [Worawi] will need some time to lick his wounds before making a decision on whether to make a return at the next election,” said the lawyer.

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