NACC indicts ousted PM Yingluck over rice pledging scheme


BANGKOK, May 8 — Thailand’s National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) on Thursday voted 7-0 to indict ousted Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on charges of dereliction of duty in overseeing the corruption-prone rice pledging scheme.

NACC President Panthep Klanarongran said the NACC members voted unanimously that there was sufficient evidence to indict her.

Vicha Mahakun and Prasart Pongsivapai, both NACC members, and spokesman and deputy spokesman respectively, were introduced at the press conference.

Mr Vicha said that the agency had twice formally warned Ms Yingluck by letter that the rice pledging project could create problems and incur great losses, as well as allow corruption to take place throughout every step of the scheme.

The Office of the Auditor General of Thailand also warned of the risk of corruption at all stages of the programme, he said.

The loopholes for corruption were also debated during sessions in the Lower House.

However, the then prime minister has failed to adjust or stop the project.

Ms Yingluck has failed to perform her duty in the best interest of the country in her role as chair of the National Rice Policy Committee so the NACC voted to indict her. 

The NACC will forward the case to the Senate for the impeachment process to proceed..

However, the NACC would later make a decision on criminal charges against her which could see her given a jail term.

The NACC decision came one day after the Constitutional Court ruled unanimously that Ms Yingluck’s order to transfer National Security Council (NSC) chief Thawil Pliensri to an inactive post in 2011 was done in an unlawful manner and demonstrated a conflict of interest and violation of the Constitution.