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NACC ruling violates charter, Pheu Thai lawyer claims

Pheu Thai Party lawyer Pichit Chuenban has accused the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) of unfairly indicting former caretaker prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra - in contravention of the Constitution - by combining two petitions to examine alleged mishandling of the rice-pledging scheme into one.

Pichit also questioned the timing of the indictment, just a day after the Constitutional Court removed Yingluck from office and a day before the Senate begins meeting to select a new speaker.

Pichit said the NACC combined petitions by the opposition Democrat Party with a criminal-case petition on the same issue. This, he said, resulted in a mixing of evidence provided by the Democrats in which two witness accounts and a remark made in Parliament were combined with other evidence about information from the subcommittee overseeing rice-pledging accounting.

Pichit claimed the practice was unconstitutional - contrary to Article 272 of the charter - and said Yingluck would in the near future have to provide more information to the Senate to defend herself to the Upper House, which will have to determine if she is guilty and whether she should be banned from politics for five years.

Pichit said Yingluck had protested her innocence to the NACC, but to no avail.


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