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Criminal case against Yingluck ‘a step closer’

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Criminal case against Yingluck ‘a step closer’ | Thaiger

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Criminal case against Yingluck ‘a step closer’
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: The move to get ex-PM Yingluck Shinawatra to stand trial in the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions – for alleged negligence to stop corruption and massive losses in the rice-pledging scheme – is seen as a step closer to indictment.

Legal experts say there is a high probability the joint panel from the Office of the Attorney-General and the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) – working together to plug up loopholes in the NACC writ under instruction from the Office – would wrap up the case soon.

The last hurdle the joint panel must overcome is that the Office wants the NACC to agree that Yingluck be indicted on charges of negligence and not corruption.

That does not seem to pose a problem, said NACC secretary-general Sansern Poljiak yesterday. His office had earlier resolved that Yingluck had violated Article 157 of the Criminal Code for dereliction of duty in regard to her failure to stem corruption in the rice scheme.

He said he would check reports that public prosecutors would agree to indict Yingluck if the NACC officially confirmed the ex-PM is to be indicted on charges of dereliction of duty only – and not corruption.

Sansern said he had not seen an official request from the Office on the indictments, so he would check with his office first. He said the joint panel of the NACC and the Office representatives had not discussed this request.

The panel would meet again early next month.

NACC chairman Panthep Klanarongran said the commission would not interrogate extra witnesses for the rice scheme but it was willing to submit other evidence such as censure motion information.

Panthep insisted the NACC wanted the Office to file an indictment against Yingluck in the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions.

Only if the joint panel officially resolved that it could not agree on the Yingluck case, the NACC would then have authority to bring the case to the court, he added.

The NACC chairman said the next meeting of the joint panel, which is yet to be scheduled, would be its last.

NACC and prosecutors to meet in mid-December

Panthep said the NACC and the Office would meet on December 16 to discuss all cases involving the two agencies and it was likely they would discuss Yingluck’s case on that day, too.

In a separate move, the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) is expected to proceed with impeachment proceedings against Yingluck on November 28 over the rice-pledging scheme.

An authorised lawyer to Yingluck yesterday submitted a request with the NLA, asking it to rule on whether its move to call a special session to discuss Yingluck’s case on November 12 was unconstitutional.

Norawit Lalaeng said he had submitted the request on November 5 asking the NLA to rule whether it had authority to impeach Yingluck – but the assembly had not acted on his request. So he requested the NLA president bring his petition to the assembly’s attention on November 28. “If the assembly votes that the NLA has no authority, the impeachment against Yingluck must be dropped,” he said.

NLA whip spokesman Jetn Sirathranont criticised the move, saying it was expected that Yingluck’s legal team would try to stall her impeachment. He said Yingluck’s impeachment differed from that of former Parliament president Somsak Kiatsuranont and his ex-deputy Nikom Wairatpanij, in terms of alleged offence. That was why the NLA had not voted to decide its authority over action to impeach Yingluck.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Family sues prime minister, CCSA after Covid-infected relative dies

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo from Kunlasub Wattnaphon's Facebook.

The family of a man who died while infected with Covid-19 is demanding the prime minister, as well as other government officials, pay millions of baht in compensation, citing “negligence” after calls to Covid-19 hotlines went unanswered or were not of help.

35 year old Kunlasub Watthanaphon died on April 23. Kunlasub is said to have contracted the virus from a cluster in Bangkok. Many of the clusters of infections early in the recent outbreak were concentrated in nightlife districts in Bangkok including Thong Lor and Ekkamai.

When Kunlasub developed Covid-19 symptoms, he called the hotline numbers for those who think they make have contracted the virus. If he had received proper treatment quicker, the family says he might still be alive.

“The CCSA announced telephone helplines – 1330, 1422, 1668, 1669 and 1323 – for people who suspected they had contracted Covid-19. When my brother developed Covid-like symptoms he called these numbers. However, they were either busy or someone picked up but did not send help right away.”

Kunlasub had documented his illness on Facebook, posting updates, as well as photos and videos, up until the day of his death.

The death of the 35 year old man, who is well known in the esport, or video competition industry, sparked controversy. One person wrote on Facebook after Kunlasub’s death “My friend didn’t die because of a congenital disease. He died because he wasn’t treated in the early days.”

The case was filed at the Administrative Court today. It demands compensation of 4.53 million baht from the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration as well as PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, his secretary and the prime minister’s office.

The family is also suing Thong Lor entertainment venues, where the first clusters were reported in the recent outbreak, for negligence.

β€œHad the CCSA imposed a strict lockdown on entertainment venues and banned travel during the Songkran holiday, the latest wave of Covid-19 with over 2,000 new infections daily would never have happened.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

 

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Thailand

Thailand News Today | 8 clusters in Bangkok, Phuket party organisers charged | May 14

Tanutam Thawan

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Foreigners may face a slight delay in receiving their Covid-19 vaccines, The BMA has now confirmed 8 clusters of Covid infection in the capital, Thai Private Hospital Association is now working to offer a variety of Covid-19 vaccine brands to Thais and Patong police have announced that the managers of the Phuket venues that hosted the Kolour entertainment event swill be charged under Thailand’s Emergency Decree provisions.

 

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Economy

Market down as good US economy drives interest rate fears

Neill Fronde

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FILE PHOTO: The Thai stock market followed the rest of the world down yesterday, but long-term prospects may be looking up.

After US inflation exceeded targets and increased 4%, global stock markets including Thailand plummeted yesterday with fears of rising interest rates. Almost 144 billion baht was traded yesterday with the market at one point diving down 70 points in the late afternoon before recovering to a 23.72 point loss, closing at 1548.13.

2% is a high rate of inflation so the big numbers sparked fears that the US Federal Reserve will reduce quantitative easing and increase interest rate which decreases the market’s liquidity. The US economy is surging with the Consumer Price Index up 4.2% over last year.

The balancing out of the economy will likely push risky prospects like the stock market down while driving up commodity prices like energy and oil. This may hurt the Stock Exchange of Thailand in the short run, but will likely have long-term positive effects as the SET has a large number of energy stocks that will benefit from the market’s change.

Some long-term investors in Thailand fear quantitative easing and the market’s tightening because it drives away foreign investors which in the past made up 30% of the Thai market. But now foreigners only account for 20% so the negative effect should be much less. However, in the normal inflation range of 1 to 3%, the stock market should have a price-to-earnings ratio of 20 and some experts have downgraded it to 18 now.

Eyeing the US, some experts predict that even accelerated quantitative easing won’t come into effect until the end of the year and interest rates probably won’t rise significantly within the next 2 years. Watching the continued effect of the Covid-19 pandemic and US unemployment figures will be key indicators driving the global market up or down.

Even with the stock market down in Thailand, there’s still some good news as Thai corporations listed on the SET expected to cross the 200 billion baht profit threshold this week, after reporting 180 billion baht in the first quarter of the year, with 55% of the market recording a profit.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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