Supreme Court holds first hearing for rubber saplings caseSeptember 23rd, 2008 - 1:12 pm ICT by Amrit Rashmisrisethi
The Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions has scheduled its first hearing today at 10 AM for the alleged mishandling in the purchase of 90 million rubber saplings worth totalling 1.44 billion baht.
The case was initiated by now defunct Assets Examination Committee (AEC). It alleged 44 defendants dividing into 3 groups. The first group, politicians, includes former Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak, former Deputy Minister of Finance Warathep Rattanakorn and former Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives Newin Chidchob. The second group comprised civil servants and the third group is composed of private companies, including Thailand’s largest agro-industry conglomerate Charoen Pokphand group’s subsidiary Charoen Pokphand Seeds Co. All the three groups were being charged with violating criminal code section 157, abusing their positions of authority as well as rigging auctions, fraud and a gambit of other allegations.
The Supreme Court accepted the case on August 6 and allowed the National Counter Corruption Commission to act on behalf of the AEC as plaintiff in the case.
Source : National News Bureau, Public Relations Department of Thailand