FFP boss seeks new share defence delay

FFP boss seeks new share defence delay

Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit has asked the Constitutional Court to extend the deadline to submit evidence to fight a media share-holding charge by 15 days. (Bangkok Post file photo)
Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit has asked the Constitutional Court to extend the deadline to submit evidence to fight a media share-holding charge by 15 days. (Bangkok Post file photo)

Future Forward Party (FFP) leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit has asked the Constitutional Court to extend the deadline to submit evidence to fight a media share-holding charge by 15 days, a source said.

It is the second time Mr Thanathorn, who has been suspended as an MP since the court accepted the case for a ruling, has sought an extension. If the fresh request is approved, Mr Thanathorn has a total of 60 days to submit his defence.

The FFP boss stands accused of holding shares in V-Luck Media Co when he registered as an MP candidate in early February -- a breach of Section 98(3) of the constitution, which bars owners and/or shareholders of media and/or publishing firms from running as MPs.

The Election Commission (EC) has found there are grounds to the allegations and forwarded the case to the court for a ruling. V-Luck Media Co is registered with the Commerce Ministry's Department of Business Development to run a newspaper/mass communications business.

When accepting the case for consideration on May 23, the court asked Mr Thanathorn to submit his defence within 15 days. When the deadline was about to expire, he sought a 30-day extension granted by the court, which will expire on July 8.

According to the source, Mr Thanathorn's defence team said they want more time to examine the documents.

Mr Thanathorn has denied the charge and insisted he and his wife transferred their shares to his mother on Jan 8, immediately after returning from Buri Ram to Bangkok following a campaign rally.

Pheu Thai spokeswoman Ladawan Wongsriwong yesterday slammed the Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP) over its plan to seek an injunction for its 27 MPs accused of violating media share-holding rules.

She said the PPRP's plan to ask the court not to suspend the MPs facing the qualification reviews would be unfair to Mr Thanathorn who is suspended on the basis of allegedly breaching the media share-holding regulations and complied with the court order.

PPRP deputy spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said the party's request is above-board because the cases against the party MPs and Mr Thanathorn are different. However, he said the party would accept the court's decision.


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