NLA rejects Surapong's request to submit new evidence

NLA rejects Surapong's request to submit new evidence

The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) on Thursday rejected former foreign minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul's request to present more evidence in his defence against an impeachment motion filed by the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC).

The NACC petitioned the NLA to retroactively impeach Mr Surapong for reinstating former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra's passports in 2011, accusing him of dereliction of duty under Section 157 of the Criminal Code..

In his defence, Mr Surapong asked the NLA to accept for consideration five additional documents as evidence.

Mr Surapong said the five documents would provide proof that Pakdi Pothisiri, one of the NACC members who passed the resolution to seek his impeachment, was not qualified to be on the commission because he had not resigned from the board of Government Pharmaceutical Organisation-Merieuk Biological Products Co Ltd.

Supa Piyajitti, an NACC member, objected to Mr Surapong's request.  She said Mr Pakdi was fully qualified to be on the NACC because he had resigned, both verbally and in writing, from all public companies.  The issue of Mr Pakdi's qualification was considered, she added.

Moreover, the qualifications of Mr Pakdi had nothing to do with Mr Surapong's alleged malfeasance in the reinstatement of Thaksin's passports, Ms Supa said.

The sitting decided by a majority vote to not allow Mr Surapong to present five additional documents.

The NLA set March 16 for the two sides to deliver their opening statements in the impeachment hearing.


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