Pareena probe result in April
The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has said that the investigation into allegations of a false assets declaration made against MP Pareena Kraikupt in relation to 1,700 rai of land will take six months.
Secretary-general Worawit Sukboon said the NACC has already made a preliminary investigation, and this week will decide which aspects to pursue once the full probe begins.
"The case should be concluded in six months, which means the final results of the NACC's probe into the Palang Pracharath Party [PPRP] MP's assets declaration case are expected by April next year," Mr Worawit told media on Tuesday.
The NACC found in its preliminary investigation that Ms Pareena actually owns only 691 rai of land despite stating in her declaration that she owned 1,700 rai in total, he said.
He said the NACC's law only requires a declaration of ownership of land with title deeds, while Ms Pareena's plots are without deeds and are state forest, which permits farmers to use them in exchange for paying a rental tax.
He said that several other MPs had also declared land without title deeds too.
"We need to look at the motivation. Under the current version of the NACC's law, only those proven to have intended to falsely declare their assets to the NACC will be found guilty," he said.
Previously, unintentionally incorrect declarations were also barred.
The Royal Forest Department on Monday pressed charges against Ms Pareena for encroaching on 46 rai of public forest land in Ratchaburi province.
She was also found to own a 691-rai plot in an area reserved for poor farmers under the land reform policy governed by the Agricultural Land Reform Office (Alro).
An occupant is allowed to use no more than 50 rai of the reform land for agriculture. The land can be passed on to heirs but cannot be sold.
Former Ratchaburi MP Tawee Kraikupt, Ms Pareena's father, meanwhile, claimed he has clear evidence to prove he is actually the person who owns the land in question, which Ms Pareena was unaware of.
He refused to answer when asked why Ms Pareena had declared she owns the land, saying the truth will emerge soon.