Ex-Thai PM moves anti-graft body to call more witnesses

Bangkok : Former Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra authorised her lawyer, Norawit Laleang, to petition the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) Tuesday against its resolution to dismiss Yingluck’s request to include eight additional witnesses.

According to the defence lawyer, the refusal to allow eight witnesses to testify may result in unfairness in Yingluck’s defence, Xinhua reported.

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The lawyer insisted that the petition was not meant to delay the case connected to a controversial rice-pledging scheme.

Norawit said Yingluck argued that 2.97 million tonnes of pledged rice was not missing as a rice accounting sub-committee headed by Supa Piyajitti, former deputy permanent secretary for finance, had reported.

The lawyer said Yingluck proposed in vain that the NACC directly question witnesses, including the president of the Public Warehouse Organisation and the acting director of the Marketing Organisation for Farmers, who would testify to the existence of the 2.97 million tonnes of rice.

The inspection committee appointed by the Thai military junta Tuesday revealed that the committee found some rice was missing while there was massive deterioration in quality.

The inspection committee said it was committed to completing its inspections by the end of this month and providing a summary on its findings at each granary nationwide.