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Charges filed

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Agents of the National Anti-Corruption Commission haul in a truckfull of evidence to the Supreme Court, supporting charges against five people including former Bangkok governor Apirak Kosayodhin in the 2004 Bangkok City Hall purchase of firetrucks and boats.


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5 face firetruck scandal lawsuit

NACC accuses ex-City Hall leaders of graft

POST REPORTERS

Apirak: ‘Aware’ of irregularities

The National Anti-Corruption Commission has filed a lawsuit against five people including ex-Bangkok governor Apirak Kosayodhin over City Hall's 2004 procurement of firetrucks and boats.

In the lawsuit lodged yesterday with the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions, the NACC accused the five of abuse of authority, price collusion and corruption.

The four others named in the lawsuit were former interior minister Pokin Polakul, former deputy interior minister Pracha Maleenont, former commerce minister Watana Muangsuk and the former director of the BMA's Fire and Rescue Department Pol Maj Gen Atilak Tanchukiat.

The supplier, Steyr-Daimler-Puch of Austria, was also named in the lawsuit. The company faces charges of price collusion and aiding wrongdoing.

The NACC's action came after the Office of the Attorney-General (OAG) decided last year not to indict Mr Apirak, Mr Pokin and Mr Watana, citing insufficient evidence.

The NACC saw otherwise. In its lawsuit, the NACC claimed Mr Apirak, now a Democrat list-MP, was aware of irregularities in the purchase scheme.

The ex-governor authorised the opening of the letter of credit and committed the BMA to the deal.

The purchase deal was signed by then-Bangkok governor Samak Sundaravej on Aug 27, 2004, the last day of his tenure. It was a barter deal to exchange boiled chickens for firetrucks.

The procurement was under the Agreement of Understanding (AoU) signed between Mr Pokin and the Austrian government on July 30, 2004.

AoU stated that the letter of credit must be opened within 30 days after the signing of the purchase agreement.

Mr Apirak signed the letter of credit when he succeeded Mr Samak as Bangkok governor.

Pokin: Signed the agreement

The NACC claims the other four collaborated with each other in crafting the scheme, and in particular the AoU, which resulted in the BMA purchasing 315 firetrucks and 30 fire boats at an inflated price of 6.68 billion baht.

Inquiries showed the real value of the purchase was only 3-3.5 billion baht, excluding transportation.

The NACC said that the AoU was unlawful on several grounds. It had not been reviewed by the OAG and it violated a number of cabinet resolutions governing agreement signing and imports of goods among others and the BMA's procurement regulations.

According to the NACC, Steyr-Daimler-Puch hired a Thai conglomerate to execute a counter-trade agreement with the Foreign Trade Department. Mr Watana, then commerce minister, is related to the family that runs the company.

NACC lawyer Sithichok Sricharoen said the Supreme Court will select nine judges to review the lawsuit.

The Supreme Court has scheduled an Aug 24 hearing to decide whether to accept the lawsuit for consideration.

scandal – a situation in which important people behave in a dishonest or immoral way that shocks people เรื่องอื้อฉาว
lawsuit – a case that a court of law is asked to decide involving a disagreement between two  people or organisations คดีที่อยู่ในระหว่างการฟ้องร้อง  
City Hall – the city government; the council members and officials who manage a city สถานที่ราชการส่วนท้องถิ่น, กรุงเทพมหานคร
graft – corruption การฉ้อโกง
commission – a group of people who have been formally chosen to discover information about a problem or examine the reasons why the problem exists คณะกรรมการ, คณะกรรมาธิการ
procurement – the process of buying supplies or equipment for a government department or company การจัดซื้อวัสดุ เครื่องมือสำหรับบริษัท หรือหน่วยงานของรัฐ
lodge – to formally make something such as a complaint or a claim  ยื่น (คำร้อง)
abuse of authority – the use of power in a bad, dishonest or unlawful way การใช้อำนาจในทางที่ผิด
collusion – secretly working together to do something dishonest การสมรู้ร่วมคิด
rescue – to save someone form a dangerous or unpleasant situation ช่วยชีวิต
charge – an official statement accusing someone of committing a crime ข้อหา
aid – help; assistance ความช่วยเหลือ
Attorney-General – the top legal officer in some countries, who advises the leader of the government อัยการสูงสุด
indict – to officially accuse someone of a serious crime ฟ้องร้อง
cite – to mention as an example, explanation or proof of something else อ้าง, กล่าวอ้าง
insufficient – not enough ไม่เพียงพอ
evidence – facts statements or objects that help to prove whether or not someone has committed a crime หลักฐาน
see otherwise – to disagree; to have a different opinion ไม่เห็นด้วย, คัดค้าน
party-list – a system that gives each party in an election a number of seats in relation to the number of votes its candidates receive ระบบสัดส่วน, ระบบปาร์ตี้ลิสต์
aware – knowing that something exists, or having knowledge or experience of a particular thing ทราบ
irregularity – a situation in which the rules, laws, or usual ways of doing things have not been followed การปฏิบัติที่ไม่เป็นไปตามระเบียบปกติ
scheme – a plan for achieving something, especially something illegal or dishonest แผนการ (ที่มีท่าว่าจะผิดกฎหมาย)
authorise –  to give official permission for something, or to give someone official permission to do something ให้อำนาจ, มอบอำนาจ, ให้สิทธิ
letter of credit – a letter from a bank guaranteeing that a buyer's payment to a seller will be received on time and for the correct amount หนังสือยืนยันการสั่งซื้อ
commit – to promise to do something ให้คำมั่นสัญญา
deal – a formal agreement, especially in business or politics การตกลงซื้อขาย, ข้อตกลง, การซื้อขาย
tenure – the period of time during which someone has an important job ช่วงระยะเวลาที่ดำรงตำแหน่ง
barter – to exchange goods, property, services, etc. for other goods, etc. without using money แลกเปลี่ยนสิ่งของต่อสิ่งของ
collaborate – to work together with someone else ร่วมมือ
craft – to make or produce something using special skills
inflated – (of a price) higher than it should be ซึ่งเฟ้อ
inquiry – an official examination of a crime, accident, problem, etc., in order to get information or the truth การไต่สวน
exclude – to intentionally not include something แยกออกไป
unlawful – against the law ไม่ชอบด้วยกฎหมาย, ผิดกฎหมาย
grounds – reasons for saying or doing something เหตุผล
violate – to do something that is against a law, rule or agreement ฝ่าฝืน, ละเมิด
cabinet resolution – an official decision made by the group of government ministers who make and approve government policy มติ คณะรัฐมนตรี
regulation – an official rule that controls the way that things are done กฎระเบียบ
conglomerate – a large company formed by joining together different firms กลุ่มบริษัทในเครือ
execute – to do or perform something, especially in a planned way ดำเนินการ
counter-trade – trade in which goods or services are exchanged not for money but for other goods or services
scheduled – to plann to happen at a particular time or day ตามตารางเวลา
consideration – giving careful thought to something before making a decision การคิดพิจารณา

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