An MP accused of committing a serious ethical violation said that she will fight to keep her committee seat, even if she’s asked to give it up. The lawyer for MP Pareena Kraikupt of the ruling Palang Pracharath Party told the Bangkok Post that if the National Anti-Corruption Commission tells Pareena to vacate her seat, she will seek an official ruling from the Constitutional Court before she will vacate it.
The Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Political Office Holders is investigating evidence that suggests Pareena allegedly owns land in a forest reserve in her home province of Ratchaburi. Possessing land in a protected reserve is highly illegal. The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) believes that Pareena should be barred from attending House committee meetings, considering that the Supreme Court issued an injunction that suspended her from performing her work as an MP until the trial.
The NACC also stated that this suspension should have been applied last month, and barred Pareena from working on the national budget bill. According to the Bangkok Post, Pareena and her lawyer believe that what the NACC is proposing is unprecedented. They say that there has never been an order from a court that specifically states that an MP serving a suspension also has to stop participating in House meetings.
Pareena’s lawyer pointed out that the MP was officially appointed by parliament to work as a member of these House committees, and that if the NACC wants her removed, they need to take the issue to the Supreme Court.
The Post reports that the NACC has 12 witnesses scheduled to testify, and Pareena has 10. The court’s official ruling is scheduled for April 7.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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