FOR THE FOURTH TIME, public prosecutors have postponed their decision on whether to indict Phra Dhammachayo, abbot of Pathum Thani’s Wat Phra Dhammakaya, and four other suspects on charges of money-laundering and receiving illegal money linked to the Klongchan Credit Union Cooperative (KCUC) embezzlement case.
A new date was set for November 30.
The delay was on the grounds that prosecutors were waiting for the result of an additional probe by the Department of Special Investigation (DSI), Chartpong Chirabandhu, deputy director general of the Office of the Attorney-General (OAG)’s Special Case Office, said yesterday.
The case was submitted to the DSI on June 13 this year and prosecutors have postponed the indictment decision pending results of additional probes.
The first defendant in the case, former KUCU chief executive Supachai Srisupa-aksorn, has already been convicted and is currently serving a 16 year jail term in a related criminal lawsuit. An arrest warrant has been issued for the second defendant Phra Dhammachayo although he remains at large.
The remaining suspects were identified as former KCUC executives Saranya Manmad, Thongpin Kanlorm and Sasithorn Chokprasit.
Meanwhile, Justice Minister General Paiboon Koomchaya commented that he had no idea why prosecutors would again postpone the indictment decision as he was told by the DSI chief that investigators had already probed the crucial points of the case. He admitted that the postponement might lead to questions about the case being deliberately stalled.
DSI chief Pol Colonel Paisit Wongmuang said that DSI investigators had completed the additional probe and sent the result to the prosecutors on November 4.
Although there were still several minor points to cover as per the prosecutors’ instruction, he insisted the crucial points to the case had already been covered.
An informed source said that the DSI had only received the additional points to investigate from prosecutors on November 1. The prosecutors wanted to know more about what happened after the suspects received the cheques from KCUC and how it was spent, the source added.