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OAG won’t push for Yingluck travel freeze

Posted by pakin On February - 19 - 2015

The Office of the Attorney-General (OAG) will not seek a court order to prohibit Yingluck Shinawatra from travelling abroad after it indicts the former prime minister Thursday.

Ms Yingluck is being indicted in connection with the failed rice-pledging scheme.

The OAG has confirmed it will indict Ms Yingluck before the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Political Office-Holders whether or not she turns up in court as requested by the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC). A Pheu Thai Party source said the ex-premier will not be present at the indictment hearing.

Ms Yingluck faces charges, under Section 157 of the Criminal Code and Section 123/1 of the 1999 Organic Law on Counter-Corruption, of dereliction of duty regarding alleged corruption in her government’s rice-pledging scheme.

OAG deputy spokesman Kosolwat Inthujanyong said attorneys-general Chutthichai Sakhakorn and Surasak Treerattanakul will file the suit at 10am.

The Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Political Office-Holders will then decide whether to accept the suit before setting the trial date.

Asked whether the OAG would make any request to the court about Ms Yingluck’s bail or her ability to travel abroad, Mr Kosolwat said there will be no such requests since the judge panel overseeing the case will consider the issue itself.

The National Council for Peace and Order early this month rejected a request from Ms Yingluck to travel to Hong Kong, saying she was about to be indicted by the OAG. Some fear if she is given permission to go abroad, she will flee the pending court case.

The Pheu Thai Party source said Ms Yingluck is waiting for the opening hearing of the trial to present herself before the court.

National Reform Council member Wanchai Sornsiri pointed out the accused is not legally obliged to report to the court for indictment procedures.

NACC president Panthep Klanarongran said her absence will have no consequences on the case though the anti-graft agency had previously sent Ms Yingluck a letter advising her to attend the indictment.

However, Mr Panthep warned that if the Supreme Court accepts the suit and sets a hearing date, she will have to appear before the court then.

The NACC on Wednesday advised the Finance Ministry to file a suit against Ms Yingluck for her failure to stop the loss-ridden rice-pledging scheme.

Mr Panthep said the ministry should demand at least 600 billion baht in compensation.

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