THE NATIONAL Counter-Corruption Commission (NCCC) has filed a new lawsuit against former premier Thaksin Shinawatra for an alleged abuse of his power while in office, dating back to his 2003 authorisation for the Finance Ministry to administer the Thai Petrochemical Industry’s (TPI) rehabilitation plan.
Worawit Sukboon, secretary-general of NCCC, yesterday announced the lawsuit was filed with the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Political Office Holders.
Back in 2003, TPI was in a serious financial condition dating back to the 1997 financial crisis that rocked Thailand’s economy. The firm entered into a court-approved debt-restructuring programme.
As PM, Thaksin approved the Finance Ministry’s proposal to be the administrator for the privately owned firm’s debt restructuring plan. He was accused of violating the law, with critics arguing that a ministry of the government had no right to manage a private company’s debts and restructure its business.
The NCCC lawsuit argues that the approval caused damage to the government by violating the Criminal Code. The NCCC had previously attempted to convince the attorney-general to pursue the matter, but a committee of officials from both bodies set up to examine details of the TPI case was unable to reach agreement to prosecute. The NCCC has now proceeded with its own lawsuit.
In addition to the TPI case, Thaksin, who remains in exile overseas, is facing two lawsuits concerning alleged wrongdoings in approving a Bt4-billion state-owned Exim Bank loan for the Myanmar government and in issuing special lotteries while he was prime minister.
Since the exiled ex-premier has failed to show up in court, the court suspended its hearings in these cases.