Former Thai PM Yingluck misses date with anti-corruption commission, claims 'urgent business'

Former Thai PM Yingluck misses date with anti-corruption commission, claims 'urgent business'
Thailand's former premier Yingluck Shinawatra

The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has extended until June 30 the date by which former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra must to appear before it.

She is due to hear the charges against her for improperly granting monetary compensation to those killed and injured during political protests between 2005 and 2010 without having any bill to endorse it.

NACC member and spokesperson Vicha Mahakhun said Yingluck sent her representative, Chaliew Dusadee, to submit the request on her behalf yesterday claiming she was occupied with urgent business. The request made no mention as to when Yingluck would be ready but the NACC eventually fixed the date for June 30 and will send a letter by mail to inform her.

Vicha said if Yingluck fails to show up to hear the charges, the anti-graft body will take legal steps against her. Yingluck will have 15 days to defend herself after hearing the charges against her, said Vicha, adding that the focus would be on whether the payments were legally made and in accordance with the letter of the law.

Chaliew said he was merely a messenger and he refused to elaborate on Yingluck's urgent business. He quickly left the NACC, covering his face from photographers.

The whole Cabinet of the Yingluck administration is also being charged by the NACC.

Vicha said the matter should be over soon as all sides wanted it to be resolved.

Another person who made a request for postponement was former PM's Office Minister Worawat Ua-apinyakul, who has just returned from an overseas trip and claimed he was not ready to defend himself. Worawat requested 10 more days.

He said the accusation was unusual because the money used to compensate those affected by the political protests came from the central government budget and many previous administrations had used the same means to alleviate those affected by natural calamities.

The former minister also defended the amount - Bt7 million - paid to the families of each person killed as not being too high as human life is priceless.

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