Anti-graft body to probe Yingluck on rice charges


BANGKOK, Jan 29 – The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has vowed to speed up its investigation of the caretaker prime minister on charges of negligence in connection with the controversial rice pledging scheme.

NACC member Vicha Mahakhun said the investigation will include a Democrat Party petition seeking to remove Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra for being implicated in the rice programme which has created heavy losses and involved non-existent government-to-government rice deals with China.

The caretaker prime minister, chairperson of the National Rice Policy Committee, was charged with failing to stop the rice subsidy plan – an offence under the Criminal Code, he said.

The NACC earlier assigned a sub-committee to handle the investigation of Ms Yingluck.

The commission decided yesterday that all members will investigate the case and conclude it as soon as possible, said Mr Vicha.

Regarding an investigation on alleged corruption in rice deals under the Abhisit Vejjajiva government in 2009-2010, Mr Vicha said the NACC has interrogated 25 related officials from the Foreign Trade Department and Marketing Organisation for Farmers. Porntiva Nakasai was then commerce minister.

He said the NACC has asked for facts from 16 government agencies but some of them refused to supply information concerning the case, claiming that documents were damaged and lost during severe floods.