NACC to indict PM over rice pledging fraud


BANGKOK, 18 February 2014  The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has resolved to press charges against Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra for dereliction of duty in handling the rice pledging scheme and will call her in to acknowledge the charges on February 27. 

NACC Commissioner Vicha Mahakhun announced that the commission had made a unanimous decision to indict Ms Yingluck for neglecting her duty as Chairperson of the National Rice Policy Committee, which was considered a violation of Section 157 of the Criminal Code. He pointed out that the NACC had acquired sound evidence and testimony from witnesses that were indicative of the premier’s guilt.

Mr Vicha elaborated that Ms Yingluck had been warned in advance by the commission as well as the Office of the Auditor General about irregularities in the rice pledging scheme. She was also well aware of the problems after having listened to House debates over the matter but still pushed forward with the scheme.

The Prime Minister is required to hear her charges on February 27 at 2 pm. Mr Vicha confirmed that the NACC had carried out its deliberation in a neutral and transparent manner.

Whether or not the indictment would lead to Ms Yingluck’s removal from office in accordance with Section 270 of the Constitution, the commissioner said it would depend on the consideration of the Senate. In the meantime, a criminal case will also be lodged against her.