NLA sets Jan 9 to start ex-PM Yingluck’s impeachment process

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BANGKOK, Nov 28 — The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) on Friday set January 9 as the date for opening statements in the impeachment case against former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra on alleged massive corruption in her ousted government’s rice-pledging scheme.

NLA members also agreed during a meeting, chaired by NLA President Pornpetch Wichitcholchai, not to allow Ms Yingluck to submit additional evidence other than the present 72 items to defend herself in the impeachment case.

On November 21, her lawyer submitted 44 pieces of evidence to NLA and asked the NLA that it is necessary that more evidence should be given for NLA consideration because the extra evidence, although not new was not studied by the Office of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) earlier.

But NACC member Vicha Mahakhun argued that the extra materials which Ms Yingluck wanted to submit were already “contained” in items which NACC  had studied and it was up to  each NACC member whether which part of the materials they wanted to choose for consideration.

Mr Vicha  then said Ms Yingluck “never explained to NACC in the past.”

Former prime minister Yingluck was also chairperson of the National Rice Policy Committee while she was the prime minister.

Ms Yingluck’s lawyer Norawit Lalaeng later told journalists that he was satisfied although the Assembly did not allow her to submit more evidence in the case.

Asked whether Ms Yingluck would personally appear before NLA members in defending herself in January, Mr Norawit gave his opinion that the issue is still being under discussion and there is a possibility that she would testify by herself on that day.