Fresh legal battle looms in rice case

Ex-commerce minister Boonsong Teriyapirom (right) and his deputy Poom Sarapol, were convicted by the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions of abetting fake government-to-government rice sales during the Yingluck administration. (File photos)

Prosecutors are preparing for another legal bout with former commerce minister Boonsong Teriyapirom and his former deputy Poom Sarapol following their appeals against the Supreme Court’s verdict on their roles in fake government-to-government (G2G) agreements under the corruption-plagued rice pledging scheme.

The prosecutors are studying the appeal documents filed by Boonsong and Poom to draft a counter-appeal, which must be finished in 30 days, Kittinan Thachpramuk, chief of Office of Attorney General’s Department of Investigation, said Sunday.

Boonsong and Poom lodged appeals after the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions sentenced the former commerce minister to 42 years in jail and his former deputy to 36 years’ imprisonment on Aug 25.

  • See also:

The court found the G2G contracts to export the pledged rice to China were fake and were in fact made to sell the pledged rice to private companies in Thailand, which then resold the stock to a foreign country.

According to the court ruling, the pair, who are among 17 people found guilty in the case, violated a number of laws including the anti-price collusion law.

The prosecutors are now seeking heavier punishments and more compensation from the 17.

The G2G rice trade scandal also involves former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who was also found guilty by the court of negligence of duty for ignoring corruption in the rice pledging scheme and was sentenced to five years in jail.

However, Yingluck’s lawyer Norawit Lalaeng said Sunday no appeal was lodged by his client against the court ruling. The former premier has not ed him since she failed to turn up to hear the court ruling on Aug 25. The court rescheduled the reading of the ruling for Sept 27, for which she was a no-show again.

The deadline for the former prime minister to file an appeal expired on Friday.

Yingluck reportedly fled to Dubai before travelling to London, where she is believed to have sought political asylum.

Under the recently enacted organic law governing trial procedures of the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions, Yingluck is required to appear in court in person to lodge an appeal.

Leave a Comment