Yingluck responds to NACC

29 03 2014
PPT posts a statement by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra regarding the impeachment charges brought by the NACC:
In consideration of the fact that the allegations made against me by both the opposition party and the NACC regarding the Rice Pledging Scheme, even though according to the Constitution the members of the NACC have the duty to act objectively when considering such a case, and given that the members of the NACC by implication (as a party which has made said allegations) can no longer act impartially while ruling on this case, I wish to submit the following observations:

1. As it is set forth in the Constitution, the stipulation that proceeding with investigations of this kind must be based on the rule of law and without any unnecessary delay applies to every group, including for those who hold the position of political executive, unless specified due to special circumstances. Thus when considering other cases in the past when past political executive have been accused, there has normally been the established of investigative sub-committees first before hearings. However progress has not been made in any of the cases made against the previous government: such as the case for causing causalities and injuries to citizens while dispersing protests in 2010, as well as other corruption cases that were filed against the government that same year.

2. According to the accusations that have been filed against me, which have only taken 21 days to prepare and file (including a substantial number of corruption allegations which require detailed evidence and supportive data), and given that it is a Constitutional right for those being accused to be treated fairly and given equal access to examine the evidence used against them, which in the end serves only to add credibility to the evidence used by prosecuting party or in this case the NACC; I have no alternative but to conclude that as far as the examination of evidence and witness in this case is concerned, I have not been treated equitably or received any justice.

3. On the charges of negligence of duty in the rice pledging scheme that I have been accused of, there are a large number of witnesses and documents that need to be collected from many different agencies. These documents and witnesses are vital for my defense of the case. However, the agencies that I need to acquire the documents could not produce and release the documents in time. Therefore, I asked my lawyers to liaise with the NACC to request for the postponement of the date in which I have to defend the case for another 45 days in addition to the 15 days that have been given.

But my request for the postponement was rejected by the NACC and not even one day extension was given, on the other hand the NACC claimed that it had over a year to examine the documents to press ahead with the charges against me. It seems to me like a denial of justice by the NACC.

As I am the Prime Minister, the public will need to be fully informed of all details of the legal case related to me. The public will also need to be informed of evidence and substance of both sides. The NACC, which is not the intermediary to the case, but the NACC and I are in fact the opposing parties in this case. Therefore, the case should proceed in a fair manner and according to due process, whereby each of the parties should refrain from accusing other parties of wrongdoing out of the boundaries of legal procedure. It would be a good example whether the stakeholders conduct their act in accordance to the rule of law and due process.

The NACC also suggested that by not attending the hearing of the legal charges in person, it is not possible for me to understand the details of the case. This is incorrect as I can examine the accusation through the written documents.

The documents that were used to file accusations against myself also included the interview by Mr. Vicha Mahakhun, given to the Than Sethakit newspaper, which mentioned that I have to take the responsibility in the rice pledging scheme. I should have been given access to necessary documents so that I can be able to present my side of the case more accurately. The NACC denied my request, suggesting that it is an important document and could affect the legal procedure. This should be seen as infringing my basic rights of a Thai citizen as stipulated in the constitution. The documents that I was initially given was only 49 pages long and last Thursday I was given additional 280 pages. This means that I will only have 3 days to examine the additional 280 pages before I must defend my case on Monday.



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