Yingluck demands day in court in Facebook post

Yingluck demands day in court in Facebook post

Calls on Prayut to drop asset-seizure order plan, file civil suit

Former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra speaks to reporters outside the Supreme Court in August. (Photo by Pattanapong Hirunard)
Former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra speaks to reporters outside the Supreme Court in August. (Photo by Pattanapong Hirunard)

Former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra has called again for Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to file a civil lawsuit – in lieu of an administrative order – to seek compensation for losses incurred by her administration's rice-pledging programme.

In an open letter to Gen Prayut published Wednesday on her Facebook page, Ms Yingluck said a court trial would give her fair opportunity to defend against the state's attempt to seize her assets as compensation for the rice scheme, as opposed to an administrative process by bypasses the courts.

When the administrative order was first proposed in October, Ms Yingluck asked Gen Prayut in an open letter - also posted to Facebook - to halt the seizure of her assets and let the court process take its course.

The government claims the action is to prevent the statute of limitations on the case from expiring. There is a one-year limitation under the Civil and Commercial Code on torts, and two years under the 1996 Act on Liability for Wrongful Acts of Officials. It would expire in February 2017.

Ms Yingluck argued in her letter today that the prime minister might have been misinformed about the various statutes of limitations, leading him to believe the government's only course of action was to issue the administrative order as per the 1996 Act on Liability for Wrongful Acts of Officials.

She said that, in fact, the statute of limitations deadline would not be set until after an investigative committee appointed by the prime minister on April 3 finishes its work. That panel is probing actions by her and others connected to the rice scheme and assessing damages incurred.

Moreover, she argued, the statute of limitations is 15 years in the dereliction of duty case brought against her at the Supreme Court by the attorney general under Section 157 of the Criminal Code. Thus, she concluded, any civil case would be subject to the same 15-year limit, citing Section 448 of the Civil and Commercial Code.

She went on to write that, based on her understanding, a demand for compensation can be done two ways: by filing a civil suit; or issuing an administrative order under sections 8 and 10 of the 1996 Act on Liability for Wrongful Acts of Officials.

Mr Yingluck said that since the statute of limitations was not, in fact, a problem, she wanted Gen Prayut to file a civil suit instead. That way there would be sufficient time to gather evidence and listen to testimony without having to rush the case.

"I insist that I am innocent and am ready to prove it," Ms Yingluck wrote. "Rushing the legal process limits my chance to defend my position to the best of my abilities, which goes against basic human rights."


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