Suthep to face corruption charges in police station case

Suthep to face corruption charges in police station case

Suthep Thaugsuban is seen on the election campaign trail on March 1st, 2019. (Bangkok Post file photo)
Suthep Thaugsuban is seen on the election campaign trail on March 1st, 2019. (Bangkok Post file photo)

The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has found grounds to charge former protest leader and ex-deputy prime minister Suthep Thaugsuban and others in a case involving alleged irregularities in a police station construction project, a source at the anti-graft agency said.

The next step will be to forward the case to the Office of the Attorney-General (OAG) which will decide whether to send an indictment to the Supreme Court, the source said.

Mr Suthep is accused of violating the 1999 law on offering prices to state agencies, also known as the anti-price collusion law.

Others also implicated in the case include former acting police chief Pol Gen Patheep Tanprasert, and members of project inspection committees in nine police regions.

The project to construct 396 police stations, worth 5.84 billion baht, was endorsed by the cabinet during the Abhisit Vejjajiva administration.

Mr Suthep, who was deputy prime minister at the time, was accused of not having consulted fellow ministers regarding changes made later to the project contract. He allegedly granted a private company the right to be sole contractor, instead of splitting among different companies.

Many of the police stations were left unfinished when the contractor allegedly abandoned the project.

The NACC in 2013 set up an inquiry to determine whether Mr Suthep had breached Section 157 of the Criminal Code by committing misconduct or dereliction of duty regarding his handling of the project.

Mr Suthep denied all charges when presenting his defence before the commission, insisting that he had followed the cabinet's decision and guidelines in undertaking the scheme.


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