Yingluck to be charged over rice scheme this month: Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is expected to have formal charges brought against her by the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) over her role in the controversial rice-pledging scheme later this month, according to reports.
An inquiry panel is expected to conclude its case and bring charges against Ms Yingluck, said NACC deputy secretary-general Witthaya Akhompitak on Tuesday, adding that the panel is currently collecting more evidence to substantiate its case.
He said the NACC also intends to question unpaid rice farmers who have asked it to investigate the premier and the government, according to a Bangkok Post report.
Mr Witthaya said that if the panel finds there is enough evidence, the prime minister would face charges of violating Section 157 of the Criminal Code for dereliction of duty.
If she is charged, Ms Yingluck would be given the opportunity to defend herself before the panel sends the case to the main NACC panel, who would then make the decision on whether to indict her.
If the main panel decides to indict her and bring the case to court, Ms Yingluck would be required to step down from all her official roles.
On January 16 the NACC launched an inquiry into Ms Yingluck’s role in the rice-pledging scheme after formal corruption charges were brought against 15 people in government to government rice deals, including a former commerce minister and former deputy commerce minister.
Ms Yingluck would face criminal charges if the investigation finds that she was negligent in her duties as chairwoman of the National Rice Policy Committee which oversees the rice-scheme programme.
Ms Yingluck has denied claims that she refused to meet with farmers who have been protesting in Bangkok since last week, saying she directed the relevant ministers to explain the situation to the farmers because they knew all the details on the rice programme’s implementation.