NACC in 'final leg' of 2009 housing probe

NACC in 'final leg' of 2009 housing probe

The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) is close to concluding its investigation into alleged misconduct in the 2009 construction of 163 police flats and 396 police stations nationwide, NACC president Watcharapol Prasarnrajkit revealed on Thursday.

He described the investigation as being in its final leg, while NACC secretary-general Worawit Sukboon indicated that former protest leader and ex-deputy prime minister Suthep Thaugsuban had until the end of this month to submit more statements in his defence against alleged misconduct and dereliction of duty.

After that, Mr Worawit said the NACC sub-panels investigating the cases would submit their findings to the NACC's main committee for consideration and decide who was responsible for any wrongdoing.

A total of 17 suspects including Mr Suthep have been implicated.

Mr Suthep on Monday gave a statement to the NACC defending his actions.

The former leader of the now-defunct People's Democratic Reform Committee had testified to the NACC earlier. He said he needed to speak to the commission to straighten out certain details in the cases which the NACC had divulged to the public that were potentially misleading.

Mr Suthep, who is also a co-founder of the Ruamphalang Prachachartthai Party, or the Action Coalition for Thailand, insisted he had followed the law in orchestrating the bidding process for the construction contracts when he changed the format of the bidding as a deputy prime minister in the Abhisit Vejjajiva administration.

Mr Suthep was also accused of not having consulted fellow ministers regarding the changes made to the projects.

In 2013, the NACC, under its previous group of commissioners, set up a sub-panel to determine if Mr Suthep had breached Section 157 of the Criminal Code by committing misconduct or dereliction of duty regarding his handling of the project and the bidding process.

Before giving his statement to the NACC, Mr Suthep went on a Facebook live broadcast almost every day criticising its handling of the investigation. He insisted he had done nothing wrong regarding the projects, which are worth a total of 5.8 billion baht.

Pol Gen Watcharapol said Mr Suthep had every right to air his views and that the NACC did not find any statement to be offensive, or which undermined the investigation.

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