PM calls for graft cases to be expedited, Article 44 used

politics December 20, 2016 01:00


PRIME Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday ordered that cases of graft be prosecuted more quickly, including continued use of the interim charter’s Article 44 to target allegedly corrupt officials.

Prayut’s order was made during a meeting of the National Anti-Corruption Committee that he presided over.

Prayut has used Article 44 against 353 officials for allegedly committing graft and 81 have been punished, said Prayong Preeyachit, secretary-general to the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission.

The NACC also found grounds to press charges against 17 officials, while 98 had been dismissed from work and 41 have been investigated, Prayong said.

The PM also ordered the setting up of a panel to oversee the Transparency Index. It will be led by Deputy Premier Wissanu Krea-ngam and will follow up eight state agencies to determine how they reacted to international assessments they received.

The agencies include the Food and Drug Administration, the Customs Department and Lands Department.

The PM also ordered all agencies to publish their assessments on budget transparency and licensing facilitation online within 30 days to boost their credibility in the eyes of foreigners.

Corrupt businessmen will be blacklisted from bidding for government projects.

In regard to prosecutions linked to the rice-pledging scheme under former PM Yingluck Shinawatra’s government, Prayong said he would meet sub-panels investigating related cases on Friday in a bid to speed up the investigations.

There are 986 cases, he said, 911 of which were overseen by an investigating committee. The inquiries are expected to be completed within six months and will be reported to Prayut, he added.