Ex-protest leader and former deputy premier Suthep Thaugsuban insisted Monday he was innocent of graft in a 5.8-billion-baht project to construct police flats and police stations in 2009.
The former leader of the defunct People's Democratic Reform Committee gave a statement to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) defending his actions in the construction projects.
The construction of 396 police stations was endorsed by the cabinet during the Abhisit Vejjajiva administration in which Mr Suthep served in the role of a deputy prime minister.
Mr Suthep was accused of not having consulted fellow ministers regarding changes made to the project.
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.
Mr Suthep said he decided to testify in person to the NACC because the commission last Wednesday addressed a press conference regarding their investigation into the cases, which he thought might have misled the public and put his reputation at stake.
NACC president Watcharapol Prasarnrajkit last week updated the media about progress in the investigation, saying the probe was 80% complete but some more statements were being gathered from suspects before it was concluded.
An informed source, however, said Mr Suthep, who has already submitted to the NACC a written statement to defend himself, had requested to meet the commission in person to defend himself.
"If I am eventually found guilty in the Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions of the Supreme Court, please take my life.
"But if I am found innocent, the NACC should publicly offer me an apology," said Mr Suthep after spending almost three hours with the probe committee.
A total of 17 suspects including Mr Suthep have been implicated across the two cases.
NACC secretary-general Worawit Sukboon said last Wednesday the NACC expected to conclude its investigations by the end of this year.
Mr Suthep, who is a co-founder of the Ruamphalang Prachachartthai Party, or the Action Coalition for Thailand, insisted he had strictly followed the law in orchestrating the bidding process for the construction contracts in the 2009 project and later in 2010 when he changed the format of the bidding.