NACC re­vives two cases against Thaksin un­der newly passed law

The Nation - - THAILAND | ASEAN PLUS -

THE NA­TIONAL Anti-Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion (NACC) is re­viv­ing two cases re­lated to for­mer prime min­is­ter Thaksin Shi­nawa­tra fol­low­ing the pro­mul­ga­tion of le­gal pro­ce­dures spec­i­fied by the re­cently passed law on po­lit­i­cal of­fice hold­ers.

Thaksin’s lawyer, mean­while, filed a pe­ti­tion with the Of­fice of the At­tor­ney-Gen­eral ask­ing for a review of lese ma­jeste charge against the fugi­tive for­mer premier.

NACC Pres­i­dent Pol Gen­eral Watchara­pol Prasarn­ra­jkit said yes­ter­day that he had in­structed the le­gal of­fice to re­vive three cases un­der the ju­ris­dic­tion of the agency fol­low­ing the pro­mul­ga­tion of the new crim­i­nal pro­ce­dures against po­lit­i­cal of­fice hold­ers, which al­lows prose­cu­tors and the courts to pur­sue cases in ab­sen­tia. The three cases had been sus­pended tem­po­rar­ily un­der the old law. Two of the three cases in­volve Thaksin, who fled Thai­land in Au­gust 2008.

The first case re­lates to al­leged graft re­lated to a loan ad­vanced by the Ex­port-Im­port Bank of Thai­land, in which Thaksin was ac­cused of abuse of power by or­der­ing the bank in 2006 to in­crease a Bt3-bil­lion loan to Bt4 bil­lion so that Myanmar’s then­rul­ing junta could buy ser­vices from a Shi­nawa­tra-run com­pany, Shin Satel­lite. An ar­rest war­rant was is­sued on Septem­ber 16, 2008 in that case. The sec­ond case per­tains to the two- and three-digit lot­tery scheme, in which Thaksin, his Cab­i­net and the then-Gov­ern­ment Lot­tery Of­fice di­rec­tor were ac­cused of com­mit­ting graft and ne­glect­ing their du­ties by ap­prov­ing a 2003 lot­tery scheme that was later found to vi­o­late the Gov­ern­ment Lot­tery Of­fice bill. A re­lated ar­rest war­rant was is­sued on Septem­ber 26,2008. The third case in­volves the pri­vate sec­tor over the pro­cure­ment of fire trucks at a cost of Bt6.68-bil­lion by the Bangkok Metropoli­tan Ad­min­is­tra­tion, Watchara­pol said.

He said the NACC would prob­a­bly file a re­quest with the Supreme Court to pur­sue the cases.

He de­nied the new law was de­signed to tar­get Thaksin and his sis­ter, fugi­tive for­mer prime min­is­ter Yingluck Shi­nawa­tra, who was re­cently con­victed in ab­sen­tia of in­suf­fi­cient over­sight of her for­mer gov­ern­ment’s rice-pledg­ing scheme.

Mean­while, Thaksin’s lawyer, Chokchai Angkaew, filed a pe­ti­tion with the At­tor­ney-Gen­eral ask­ing for a review of charges against his client.

The new at­tor­ney-gen­eral, Khem­chai Chuti­wong, said last week the of­fice had agreed with a po­lice re­quest to charge Thaksin with vi­o­la­tions of the Pe­nal Code’s Ar­ti­cle 112 on lese ma­jeste and the Com­puter Crime bill.

Thaksin asked for ei­ther a more thor­ough review of the case or a full in­ves­ti­ga­tion be­fore press­ing charges.

The charge re­lates to an in­ter­view Thaksin gave to South Korean me­dia in 2015, in which he al­legedly made con­tentious state­ments about who was be­hind the coup that ousted the Pheu Thai-led gov­ern­ment in May 2014. The Of­fice of At­tor­ney-Gen­eral’s deputy spokesman Prayuth Petkhun said Thaksin, as a de­fen­dant, had the right to file pe­ti­tions dur­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion or prose­cu­tion process.

On Mon­day, Thaksin also threat­ened via his Twit­ter ac­count @thaksin­live to take le­gal ac­tion against peo­ple who had im­pli­cated him in ac­tions deemed to have in­sulted the monar­chy.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Thailand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.