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PM will be given fair chance: NACC

The National Anti-Corruption Commission will give caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra a fair chance to defend herself and will use the same standards as in court trials, NACC member Vicha Mahakun said yesterday.

The NACC is investigating Yingluck on charges of malfeasance and dereliction of duty for her alleged failure to stop losses from the rice-pledging scheme before deciding whether to indict her.

Responding to Yingluck's request that the NACC allow four additional witnesses to give statements on the rice-pledging scheme, Vicha said the NACC had yet to decide whether to accept her request. However, he said he had not seen a written request so the NACC might not be able to consider it on Tuesday.

Earlier, the NACC allowed three more witnesses named by Yingluck to testify. They included caretaker Commerce Minister Niwatthumrong Boonsongpaisan,

his deputy Yanyong Phuangrach and Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong.

Vicha said any of the three witnesses approved by the NACC must have sound reasons if they seek postponement for giving statements from Wednesday to Friday.

Vicha said the NACC would adopt the same standards as courts in allowing witnesses to give statements. "We allow only witnesses who we believe have involvement in the case in some way. We are not allowing all witnesses,'' he said.

The NACC would not make the decision to indict Yingluck at the same time as the case against former Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom because in the case against Yingluck, the damage has been done. "We have to investigate if she tried to stop the project or not,'' he said.

He refused to commit whether the case against Yingluck would be finalised within this month, adding he would ensure a free and fair investigation.

The NACC submitted its impeachment petition against House Speaker Somsak Kiatsuranont to the Senate on Friday, Vicha added.


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