Attorney General delays move to prosecute ex-PM Yingluck in rice-pledging case

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BANGKOK, Sept 4 — The Office of the Attorney General has not yet acted to prosecute former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra but will form a joint committee with the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) to further investigation into the rice-pledging case against her.

Wanchai Rujanawong, spokesman of the Office of the Attorney General, said that the office through a working group had not moved to prosecute Ms Yingluck in the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Political Office Holders for dereliction of duty as the NACC proposed because it needed more information in three areas.

Probe area one: what is authority of the prime minister to stop a project that is government policy and which was earlier announced in parliament.

Probe area two: did the former prime minister investigate the rice-pledging scheme and take any action to prevent corruption after the NACC and the Office of the Auditor General questioned the scheme. If she did, the Office of the Attorney General demands the outcome of such actions in detail.

Probe area three: the Office of the Attorney General demands details of alleged costly corruption in the rice-pledging scheme as claimed in research by the Thailand Development Research Institute.

Mr Wanchai said that the Office of the Attorney General will jointly investigate with the NACC within 14 days to gather more information and both parties will then decide if they should prosecute Ms Yingluck.

The life of the joint committee would depend on the amount of evidence and witnesses, Mr Wanchai said. He asserted that the action of the Office of the Attorney General was free of any influence and would adhere to the law and to principles of justice.