BMA officials hear charges over BTS deal
Three officials from the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority, led by city clerk Ninnart Chalitanont, reported to the Department of Special Investigation yesterday in order to acknowledge charges related to a deal signed for the BTS Skytrain services.
"I have signed a statement acknowledging the charges before providing my rebuttal," Ninnart said.
The DSI cited the Criminal Code and the 1972 Revolutionary Announcement as the basis to accuse the three officials of conspiring to operate the elevated rail network without getting an okay from the Interior Ministry.
The other two suspects are former city clerk Charoenrat Chutikan and Thana Wichaisan of the Traffic and Transportation Department.
Lead investigator Thawal Mangkang said the three suspects were very cooperative, adding that the outcome of the case would hinge on a judicial review of the suspects' mandate based on a number of laws.
The DSI contends that the officials were obliged to seek the interior minister's approval before signing the pact. However, the suspects have responded that they acted within their mandate because the BTS deal was a contract to operate the services, not a state concession.
Two executives of the BTS operating company are scheduled to acknowledge their charges today.
DSI's investigation into the case should be wrapped up within a month before it is forwarded for a prosecution review.
Separately, the DSI has summoned 44 Democrats tomorrow to hear charges of violating the Political Party Law by donating a part of their salary to their party by having their wages deducted instead of paying with a cheque. Democrat Sukhumbhand Paribatra, who is hoping to be re-elected as Bangkok governor, is among those summoned.