Ex-mayor jailed for 9 years

Ex-mayor jailed for 9 years

Prai: Violated regulations for bid
Prai: Violated regulations for bid

Prai Pattano has been sentenced to nine years of imprisonment without a suspended jail term by the Supreme Court for abuse of power while working as mayor of Hat Yai municipality in Songkhla in 2005.

The ruling was disclosed on Tuesday by Kosolwat Inthuchanyong, deputy spokesman of the Office of the Attorney General.

The Supreme Court reversed the ruling handed by the Court of Appeal, which earlier acquitted Prai.

The conviction against Prai is based on an abuse of power charge stemming from an accusation he had wrongfully transferred state money worth 26.9 million baht for amulet production in 2005 while serving as mayor.

According to the ruling, Prai used his power as a municipal mayor to transfer the money from the savings account of the municipal office to the Sirindhornrajvithayalai Foundation.

The amulets were to be sold to raise funds for the repair and gold-plating of the Buddha Mongkol Maharat statue, an important religious landmark in Hat Yai municipality.

Prai was found to have failed to comply with proper regulations in conducting the amulet production project.

He was accused of awarding a contract to a single amulet maker who landed the job without a bid being held. Not holding a bid was a violation of related procurement regulations, according to the investigation.

As well as the prison sentence, Mr Kosolwat said Prai had been ordered to return the state money worth 26.9 million baht spent on the amulet project.Prai has already given back 12.4 million baht of that amount to the Hat Yai municipal office.

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