Jatuporn bidding to destroy his rival?
Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva and red-shirt leader Jatuporn Promphan appear to thrive in different political habitatsAbhisit is carrying the Democrat banner, which for more than six decades has been a symbol of the opposition against dictators in military and civilian guises.
Jatuporn is spearheading the red-shirt movement, which also bills itself as a vanguard for democracy.
The two should have been great allies in advancing the political system. Instead they are resolute adversaries.
The more fiery the remarks Jatuporn has directed at Abhisit, the more complex the web of litigation he has to face. And this, in turn, has prompted him to dig deeper for any possible "dirt" on Abhisit. It has dragged the pair into a dark abyss of possible mutual destruction.
Among a mass of legal cases brought by Abhisit and other Democrats, two libel cases have real potential to send Jatuporn to jail.
In a case about Abhisit sitting on a chair during a royal audience, the Criminal Court found Jatuporn guilty of defaming the opposition leader. It handed down a suspended jail term on grounds it was his first offence.
The case is undergoing an appellate review and based on factual and legal issues involved, the outlook for an overturn is not good.
Jatuporn is already standing at the gate of a prison cell and if he loses his next defamation case, his prior record will compound any imprisonment sentence.
In the case of Abhisit's military con?scription, the judicial review is still ongoing. Judging from prosecution and defence testimony, the chance of an acquittal appears slim.
While Jatuporn seems to have delegated a low profile to the appellate review of the first case, he has gone all the way to sway sentiment in connection with Abhisit's conscription case.
During a red-shirt rally in 2010, Jatuporn alleged Abhisit was a draft dodger. His allegation was subsequently the basis of a defamation charge.
The litigation is centred on the words "draft dodger". Since 1999, the debate over Abhisit's conscription has been rekindled time and again but it has gone nowhere and no fresh evidence has been found.
All sides agree that Abhisit did not report for conscription duty when he turned 21. His critics, including Jatuporn, chose to refer to him as a draft dodger, intended as an insult.
Jatuporn landed in legal trouble because he manipulated the facts to smear Abhisit. For the case in question, Abhisit had been granted permission to temporarily waive his conscription duty pending the completion of his studies abroad.
After his studies, Abhisit opted for a teaching job at the Royal Chulachomklao Military Academy in 1987 in lieu of serving his conscription duty.
As Jatuporn found it difficult to rebut the plaintiff's arguments about maliciously portraying Abhisit as draft dodger, Pheu Thai member Kamol Bandaiphet stepped forward in May to petition the Office of Ombudsman to launch a probe.
The petition was about the Defence Ministry's action or inaction in getting to the bottom of the conscription compliance. Kamol executed a legal strategy to involve the Ombudsman in a bid to tip the justice scales in Jatuporn's favour.
He and other supporters of Jatuporn selectively released the ministerial report to the Ombudsman in order to emphasise the records on Abhisit's failure to report for conscription, omitting to mention his exemption.
The pro-Jatuporn camp plans to widen the allegation to cover Abhisit's teaching job in the military service.
Abhisit may have an upper hand in the courtroom but Jatuporn is determined to assassinate Abhisit's character regardless of the consequences.