City governor-elect Sukhumbhand Paribatra has slammed as misguided the Department of Special Investigation's (DSI) probe into Democrat Party donations under the Political Parties Act.
After hearing the charge against him from Pol Col Nirund Adulyasak, chief of the DSI's Bureau of Special Crime 1, MR Sukhumbhand on Thursday insisted he and 47 other Democrats involved, including party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva, had not violated the law.
He said the DSI's charges were wrong and explained that every deduction from his pay was reported to the Election Commission (EC), which meant there was no possibility the donations were illegal.
Section 57 of the Political Parties Act stipulates that any donation to a political party exceeding 20,000 baht must be made by a crossed cheque or bill of exchange.
MR Sukhumbhand said all donations involved in the DSI investigation were under the 20,000-baht threshold.
Pol Col Nirund, however, insisted the 48 Democrats had violated Section 57 of the act as they should have donated by bank draft as required by the law.
If proven guilty, offenders could face a maximum jail term of three years and a ban from political activities for five years, he added.
Meanwhile, the Bangkok Election Commission has forwarded its opinions on five complaints lodged over the March 3 governor election to the central EC.
Among the complaints sent to the central EC Thursday were accusations that Democrat Party MP for Songkhla, Sirichoke Sopha, and media expert, Seree Wongmontha, had violated election law.
Mr Sirichoke allegedly defamed the Pheu Thai Party by posting pictures and comments online about the burning of buildings in Bangkok during the 2010 violence on his Facebook page.
Mr Seree was accused of posting a message on his Facebook page trying to persuade voters not to choose Pheu Thai candidate Pol Gen Pongsapat Pongcharoen. The Bangkok EC declined to reveal what its opinions were and simply said the central EC would make a final decision on the complaints.
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- Writer: King-oua Laohong