Ex-Commerce Minister’s impeachment to be decided today

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BANGKOK  – The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) will vote today whether to impeach the former Commerce Minister and his associates on grounds of corruption in the previous government-to-government (G2G) rice program.

Former Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom, former Deputy Commerce Minister Poom Sarapol, and former Department of Foreign Trade Director-General Manas Soiploy are facing impeachment on grounds of malfeasance and corruption, which led to the failure of the previous government’s G2G rice program.

The NLA gave the floor to the plaintiff– the National Anti-Corruption Commission– to deliver its closing statement affirming its conviction that the defendants are indeed guilty as accused.

Mr Boonsong and Mr Poom delivered their closing defense statements in person while Mr Manas submitted his in writing.

After the closing statements, NLA President Pornpetch Wichitcholchai scheduled May 8 as the day for the NLA to decide whether to impeach the three defendants. Members will vote in a closed ballot.

All the three officials previously declined to attend the hearing session on Apr 30, claiming their statements might jeopardize their case, which is also being deliberated by the Supreme court’s division for political office holders.