Former PDRC leader Suthep Thaugsuban bailed after being charged with corruption
A former Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand, Suthep Thaugsuban, was granted bail by the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Political Office Holders after malfeasance charges were filed against him, by the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC), in connection with a 5.3-billion-baht project for the construction of 396 police stations when he was in office just over a decade ago.
Suthep is best known as the leader of the now-defunct People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), the political group that held massive street demonstrations against the Yingluck Shinawatra administration in the year leading up to the May 2014 coup.
Four other individuals and a company were also charged for their alleged involvement at the time when Suthep was deputy prime minister in the government of then Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva. Among the other defendants are former police chief Pol Gen Pateep Tanprasert and PCC Development and Construction Company.
The NACC decided to take the case to the court after the attorney-general declined to indict them.
After leaving the courtroom, Suthep told the media that he has already explained the matter to the NACC and public prosecutors the filing of charges was not unexpected, adding that that he followed the regulations in endorsing the project to build stations and police accommodation.
The NACC’s case against Suthep concerns only the police station construction.
He said that he will cite the attorney-general’s reasoning for not indicting him when the case comes to court. The first hearing is scheduled on February 17th.
All were released on one-million-baht bail each. The court has also barred them from leaving the country without its permission.