Weera calls for probe into MCOT and TV host
Top TRT officials 'profited' from agency's land sale
An anti-graft group yesterday called on the Assets Examina-tion Committee (AEC) to investigate a scandal involving MCOT and a firm owned by prominent television host Sorrayuth Suthassanachinda.
Weera Somkwamkid, secretary-general of the People's Network against Corruption, handed an appeal to AEC member Kaewsan Atibhodi asking for a probe into the alleged intention of Sorrayuth's company, Rai Som, in avoiding payment of Bt176 million to MCOT for his prime-time shows, "Khui Khui Khao" and "Thueng Luk Thueng Khon".
Weera said that after the September 19 coup, Sorrayuth suddenly came up with Bt136 million and was expected to pay the remaining Bt40 million soon.
"I don't understand why MCOT has done nothing about this wrongdoing," he said.
Since the coup and recent changes to MCOT's board of directors, Sorrayuth has been considered a target of anti-Thaksin Shinawatra groups, due to his alleged support for the government under the deposed premier.
Weera also urged the AEC to take legal action against former MCOT executives for causing more than Bt1 billion in damages to the state coffers.
He handed an appeal to Kaewsan in a bid to probe into the MCOT purchase in 2004 of a 50-rai plot of land. He said the land was close to another controversial plot under AEC scrutiny - owned by Thaksin's wife, Pojaman.
"The former MCOT board approved the purchase without a clear agenda for how the land would be developed," said Weera.
He said his group's own investigation found that the purchase benefited certain Thai Rak Thai Party leaders, who had planned to build an entertainment complex. But the September 19 coup halted it.
Weera also alleged that MCOT had illegally allocated radio and television broadcasting times to a firm owned by the son of a national politician. He said MCOT had received a Bt70 million budget from Airports of Thailand to promote Suvarnabhumi Airport but passed the job to a firm owned by a politician instead of handling it itself.
He added that next week, his group would appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court to revoke MCOT's status as a listed firm in the stock market, because the company's privatisation was illegal.