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Charter court rejects ex-DSI chief’s plea against assets seizure order

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The Constitutional Court has rejected an appeal by former Department of Special Investigation chief Tarit Pengdit to annul a Civil Court ruling ordering the seizure of his assets for being unusually rich.

The Constitutional Court issued its verdict on Thursday (July 25).

Tarit had appealed to the charter court under Article 212, seeking annulment of the Civil Court ruling which had ordered the seizure of 49 assets belonging to Tarit and his wife, Wassamol, worth Bt341.797 million plus accrued interest.

The Civil Court had ordered the seizure of the assets under Article 4 and Article 83 of the organic law on prevention of corruption BE 2542 (1999).

Tarit had earlier approached the Court of Appeals and also asked the Constitutional Court to rule the trial procedure as unlawful. Tarit said that under Article 80 of the organic law, the onus should have been on the public prosecutors to prove his guilt and it was not his responsibility to prove his innocence.

But the Constitutional Court cited Article 81 of the same organic law, which required defendants to prove how they had acquired their “unusual wealth”.

The court also reasoned that since Tarit was appealing against the ruling of the primary court and the Civil Court no longer had authority over the case which has been sent to the Court of Appeals, the Constitutional Court had decided to reject the case.

Published : July 25, 2019

By : The Nation