Surrogacy doctor indicted on two charges

A doctor associated with a number of unauthorised surrogacies, who has been accused of violating laws against unauthorised medical practices, was yesterday indicted for two offences after acknowledging the crimes to public prosecutors, before being released on bail.

Dr Phisit Tantiwatthanakul has been charged with operating and running a clinic without authorisation, and failing to supervise whether medical staff were following medical ethics regulations. The first and second offences carry a three-year prison term and/or a maximum fine of Bt60,000 (S$2,355), and a one-year prison term and/or a maximum fine of Bt20,000, respectively.

Phisit and his lawyer met with chief prosecutor Charoendej Salyaphong for 30 minutes. They tried to avoid reporters. Charoendej set the preliminary hearing at the Criminal Court on October 9, 10am. Asked by reporters how confident he was of winning the court case, Phisit said: "See you on October 9," and left in a car.

Charoendej said later that a working team would be set up to study evidence against Phisit provided by the police, along with a 100-page investigation report.

Phisit owns All IVF clinic in the Phloenchit area in Bangkok, which allegedly performed a number of unauthorised surrogacy operations, including for Japanese man Mitsutoki Shigeta.