The Nation



NACC rejects PM's request to extend deadline



The National Anti-Corruption Commission yesterday refused to extend the deadline for Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to file her defence against the charge of dereliction of duty in overseeing the rice-pledging scheme.

The NACC decided that she had already been allowed sufficient time, secretary-general Sansern Poljiak said.

On Monday, the 15-day extension for the PM to defend herself would end. The NACC had earlier given her 30 days to answer the charge of dereliction of duty.

Unless Yingluck submits her arguments in person or in writing, by Monday, the NACC would assume she had no objection to the NACC's investigation report, Sansern said.

If she is indicted by the NACC, she will be suspended from office.

Norawit Larlaeng and Bancha Porameesanaporn from her legal team yesterday asked the NACC to grant her 45 more days to prepare her case.

Norawit said the team had received 280 pages of additional documents from the NACC but they were not the ones requested.

The team was also waiting for reports from 10 government agencies, he said.

Yingluck needed to study all of these materials or else she would be at a disadvantage, he said.

The NACC's Sansern also said the anti-graft body had ordered a further investigation into the impeachment proceedings against former House speaker Somsak Kiatsuranont for his role in the unconstitutional amendment of the charter.

In the same case, the NACC last week decided to propose the impeachment of outgoing Senate Speaker Nikom Wairatpanij, in his capacity as Parliament vice president, for abusing his constitutional authority and cutting short a debate despite the agenda listing several legislators waiting to take the floor.

The Senate has yet to vote on his impeachment.

The People's Radio for Democracy group, a red-shirt faction that has been protesting in front of the NACC head office and has threatened to use concrete barriers and "bioweapons" to block the building, had still not done so.

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