Thai­land’s anti-graft court opens

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

BANGKOK: Thai­land’s first spe­cialised court for cor­rup­tion cases opened yes­ter­day fol­low­ing Prime Min­is­ter Prayut Chan-o-cha’s prom­ise to rid the coun­try of en­demic cor­rup­tion.

The Cen­tral Court for Cor­rup­tion and Mis­con­duct lo­cated in cen­tral Bangkok is set to han­dle cases of malfea­sance in­volv­ing gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials and state em­ploy­ees.

Cor­rup­tion was cen­tral to the junta’s premise for stag­ing a coup in May 2014 and re­main­ing in power be­fore the promised gen­eral elec­tion in late 2017, apart from po­lit­i­cal strife that crip­pled the South­east Asian na­tion for over a decade.

“I think it is a good jump start to re­duce cor­rup­tion in Thai­land,” said Kavi Chongkit­ta­vorn, a po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst and veteran jour­nal­ist.

“It is long overdue,” he said, adding that it is too early to tell if this move would strengthen the prime min­is­ter’s po­si­tion.

The types of cases the court will han­dle in­clude money laun­der­ing, false as­set dec­la­ra­tions, col­lu­sion, bribery and neg­li­gence of duty.

Up to 70 cases will be tried in the ini­tial phase, of­fi­cials said. – dpa

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