Dhammajayo indictment postponed for 4th time

Dhammajayo indictment postponed for 4th time

Wat Dhammakaya, where abbot Phra Dhammachayo is believed still holed up. (Bangkok Post file photo)
Wat Dhammakaya, where abbot Phra Dhammachayo is believed still holed up. (Bangkok Post file photo)

The Office of the Attorney General has, for the fourth time, postponed a decision on whether to indict Phra Dhammajayo on charges connected to the 12-billion baht Klongchan Credit Union Cooperative embezzlement case.

OAG spokesman Somnuek Siangkong said on Thursday the additional investigation required before making a decision had still not been completed. 

The case concerns alleged irregularities surrounding the abbot of Wat Dhammakaya in Pathum Thani, who is accused of money laundering and receiving stolen property.

The monk received donations in the form of cheques totalling hundreds of millions of baht drawn on the Klongchan Credit Union by Supachai Srisupa-akson, former chairman of Klongchan Credit Union Cooperative, who was convicted and imprisoned for stealing 12-billion baht from the cooperative.

There are five suspects in the case, with Supachai being the first, Phra Dhammajayo the second and three women -- Saranya Manmad, Thongphin Kanlom and Sasithorn Chokprasit -- the third, fourth and fifth suspects.

The OAG initially set Oct 6 to announce its decision regarding Phra Dhammajayo, who has consistently managed to avoid reporting to acknowledge the charges against him, citing health issues.

The OAG spokesman distribute a statement on Thursday saying that the indictment decision had been postponed to Nov 7 at 10am.

Mr Somnuek said a panel working on the case was still waiting for additional investigation reports from the Department of Special Investigation.

Moreover, the case was in the interests of the public and involved a large number of people and huge damages. There were also a large quantity of documents to be processed and forwarded to the prosecutors.

Therefore, it was necessary for the prosecutors and other officials involved to be careful in handling the case, which was very complicated, to ensure justice for all sides and transparency.

This was the fourth postponement of the decision.

Of the five suspects in this case, Supachai, the first suspect, is in prison after being sentenced to 32 years in the first case involving fraud at the Klongchan Credit Union Cooperative.

A warrant has been issued for Phra Dhammajayo, the second suspect, but the DSI has not been able to arrest him, although it is believed he is still inside Wat Phra Dhammakaya.

Ms Saranya and Ms Thongphin, the third and fourth suspects, have been handed over by the DSI to the OAG and were released on bail.

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Ms Sasithorn, who is still at large.

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