Palang Pracharat MP Pareena Kraikupt is to be summoned to report to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) to acknowledge charges of submitting a false statement of her assets and liabilities and an ethical violation concerning alleged forest encroachment.
NACC spokesman Niwatchai Kasemmongkol said today (Tuesday) that he is not sure whether the MP for Ratchaburi province has been formally notified of the charges but, according to procedure, she will be summoned to acknowledged the charges herself.
If she fails to show up, he explained that the NACC would notify her, in writing, to present her defence within 15 days. Failure to respond means that it would be deemed that she does not intend to challenge the charges.
Niwatchai maintained that the filing of charges against Pareena is just a part of the investigative procedure of the NACC and that she is still regarded as innocent because the anti-graft watchdog has not ruled on the case.
If the case is groundless, then it will be dropped, and if there are grounds, the case will be forwarded to the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Posts for consideration, said the NACC spokesman.
The Forest Department has accused Pareena of encroaching on 106.4 hectares of land, located in a national forest reserve in Chom Bung district of Ratchaburi province, which was turned into a chicken farm and residential area, complete with houses and a swimming pool.
Pareena, who owns about 272 hectares of land in Chom Bung district, has denied she encroached on the forest reserve and has vowed to fight the case.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)