PM submits his defence to court
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PM submits his defence to court

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin at Government House on Monday. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)
Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin at Government House on Monday. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has submitted his defence to the Constitutional Court in a case involving the controversial appointment of politician Pichit Chuenban as a PM's Office minister.

Mr Srettha said the defence was handed to the court last Friday but declined to discuss the details of his argument when asked if he could share them with the media.

"It's more of a clarification. I have the duty to clarify, and I think I've covered it all," he said.

The prime minister was scheduled to hand in his defence by Saturday after the Constitutional Court last month accepted a petition seeking his ouster over Pichit's appointment in a recent cabinet reshuffle.

The petition was lodged by a group of caretaker senators who asked the court if Mr Srettha and Pichit should be removed from office under Section 170 (4) and (5) of the charter, which deals with the ethics of cabinet ministers.

Pichit was sentenced to six months in prison in 2008 along with two colleagues after they tried to bribe Supreme Court officials by handing them a paper bag containing 2 million baht. He is deemed unfit by critics to serve as a cabinet minister.

However, he resigned just before the court accepted the petition, which was seen as a bid to spare Mr Srettha from possible legal wrangles. The court agreed to hear the case against Mr Srettha while rejecting the case against Pichit because he already stepped down.

Mr Srettha also refused to be drawn into other political developments set to take place this month.

One of them is the dissolution case against the main opposition Move Forward Party (MFP).

The Constitutional Court will hear the dissolution case on Wednesday after granting the last of three 15-day extensions to the party.

Another is the prosecution's decision to indict former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on a lese majeste charge. Thaksin is scheduled to report to prosecutors on June 18.

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