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Prawit’s brother to review NACC law despite ongoing probe

Prawit’s brother to review NACC law despite ongoing probe

MONDAY, November 06, 2017

THE JUNTA-appointed National Legislative Assembly (NLA) has given Pol General Patcharawat Wongsuwan the green light to sit on a committee vetting the organic law governing the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC), despite the fact that he is being investigated by the agency for being “unusually rich”.

His brother, Deputy Prime Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan, a senior leader in the National Council for Peace and Order, complained yesterday Patcharawat had been subjected to especially close scrutiny because he was the brother of a junta leader.
Prawit also denied any knowledge of his brother’s case and appointment to the vetting committee, saying Patcharawat was already in his 60s and his work was his business and had nothing to do with him.
NLA president Pornpetch Wichitcholchai said Patcharawat had been nominated to take the controversial post through a normal process and he did not have the authority to interfere with that. 
The committee only had authority to scrutinise the organic law and had nothing to do with the investigation process conducted by the NACC, Pornpetch said. 
The NLA president also said people of interest would not be able to participate in meetings that had agendas relating to their legal cases.
For instance, he said, NACC president Pol General Watcharapol Prasarnrajkit and Supa Piyajitti were also on the panel and would be excluded from meetings with agendas that were related to them.
Responding to the controversy, Pornpetch said: “I can guarantee with my honour that the NLA will not issue any laws against the rule of law.”
Meechai Ruchupan, head of the Constitution Drafting Commission responsible for the so-called “graft eradicating” Constitution as well as the organic law, said he would monitor the committee’s work regarding the organic law and would not hesitate to raise a red flag if the law demonstrated irregularities. 
Patcharawat has been scrutinised by the NACC for allegedly being unusually rich due to his ownership of a stable and a hotel reportedly worth hundreds of millions of baht.
When he was appointed to the committee reviewing the NACC organic law, critics questioned whether the appointment was appropriate, sparking a controversy. 
The fact Patcharawat is Prawit’s younger brother further stoked the controversy, with people questioning whether the coup-installed regime was sincere in its attempts to combat corruption.