BANGKOK – Thailand’s Office of the Attorney- General (OAG) on Thursday decided not to indict former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra for malfeasance in a controversial rice-pledging scheme, but set up a joint committee to conduct further investigations.
The OAG and the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) will set up a joint committee in 14 days, which is expected to seek more evidence before prosecutors decide if there are sufficient grounds for pressing charges against Yingluck in the Supreme Court ‘s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions.
The joint committee will be formed for the purpose of plugging up all loopholes in the case in which the NACC has accused the ousted premier of dereliction of duty in overseeing the rice- pledging scheme, OAG spokesman Wanchai Rujanawong said.
The already-suspended scheme, a flagship “populist policy” of the Yingluck government, has been accused of breeding corruption and incurring great losses, while Yingluck has been blamed for condoning corrupt practices.
If found guilty, Yingluck could face a jail term as well as a five-year ban from politics.
In July, the NACC forwarded the case to the OAG for indictment. The OAG later found the NACC’s investigation report to be incomplete.
No timeframe has been set for the joint committee’s investigation, Wanchai said, adding it cannot be known immediately when it will be completed.
If the case is to be forwarded to the Supreme Court, the court needs to see in detail how the accused committed the crimes, he said.