Ex-minister loses case over shareholding allegations
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Ex-minister loses case over shareholding allegations

Saksayam: Fell foul of Section 187
Saksayam: Fell foul of Section 187

The Constitutional Court on Wednesday ruled against former transport minister Saksayam Chidchob who was accused of concealing assets and using a nominee to hide ownership of a company that won government construction projects.

The ruling was handed down in response to a petition submitted by a group of opposition MPs following a censure debate in July 2022 in which Mr Saksayam, who was serving as transport minister at the time, was grilled over his alleged use of a nominee to hold shares while in office.

Mr Saksayam, secretary-general of the Bhumjaithai Party, was suspended from his cabinet post on March 3 last year when the case was accepted by the court.

Section 187 of the charter prohibits a minister or their spouse from holding shares in a commercial company.

If a minister wishes to continue receiving benefits from a stockholding, they must inform the National Anti-Corruption Commission within 30 days of starting their role and transfer the shares to an asset management firm.

In the petition forwarded to the court by the House of Representatives, the opposition claimed Mr Saksayam did not transfer his shares and thus violated Section 187 of the charter and Section 4 (1) of a law governing the holding of shares by cabinet ministers.

They asked the court to rule if his ministerial status should be terminated under Section 170 of the charter.

In the 7:1 ruling, the court said that based on inconsistencies in his statements and irregular circumstances, it believes Mr Saksayam continued to hold shares in Burijarearn Construction and ran the firm through Supawat Kasemsut, who served as his nominee.

As a result, Mr Saksayam fell foul of the law, and his ministerial status was terminated on March 3 last year, the day he was suspended from duty, according to the court's ruling.

Mr Saksayam, who appeared calm after hearing the decision, said he respected the ruling and would wait for a full document from the court to see how he should proceed.

But Bhumjaithai Party leader Anutin Charnvirakul said on Wednesday Mr Saksayam tendered his resignation as the party's secretary-general and as an MP effective yesterday. Mr Anutin said Mr Saksayam's resignations show respect for the court's ruling, although the case has no legal binding on his party and MP status.

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