Central Administrative Court suspends execution of SAC sentence in Hopewell case
The Central Administrative Court on Monday suspended the execution of a sentence by the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) in April 2019 on the Hopewell case, Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob said on Wednesday.
The Supreme Administrative Court had ordered the Transport Ministry and the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) to pay compensation plus interest calculated at 7.5 per cent per annum, which amounted to 25.7 billion baht, to Hopewell for cancellation of the 80-billion-baht elevated highway and railway project back in 1998.
The order to suspend execution of the sentence came after the SAC on March 4 ruled in favour of the government’s request for a retrial of the Hopewell case.
Judges voted 40-10 in favour of the petition filed by the Transport Ministry and the SRT, reversing an earlier ruling by a lower court rejecting a retrial. They cited a subsequent Constitutional Court ruling in March 2021, which was in favour of a retrial.
In March last year, the Constitutional Court overturned the SAC’s 2002 resolution on the statute of limitations in the Hopewell case.
The resolution stated that the statute of limitations should be counted from the time the Administrative Court began operating in 2001.
The Constitutional Court explained that this resolution – made by a general meeting of SAC judges – was invalid because it had not been sent to Parliament for inspection or published in the Royal Gazette as required by the Constitution.
“The order to suspend execution of the sentence has effectively postponed payment of 25.7 billion baht in compensation until a retrial is complete,” Saksayam said.