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Transport ministry to seek DSI help in Hopewell case as Anutin vows to 'fight to the end'

Transport ministry to seek DSI help in Hopewell case as Anutin vows to 'fight to the end'

FRIDAY, July 24, 2020

The Ministry of Transport will this month file a petition with the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) to investigate the Hopewell case as the ministry suspects many discrepancies in legal procedures but it lacks the authority and ability to investigate.

“The ministry is gathering documentation and other evidence, but cannot tell yet whether the DSI will accept the case, and if they do whether the case will be a criminal or civil one,” the source said on Friday (July 24).
The Supreme Administrative Court on Wednesday (July 22) upheld the Central Administrative Court’s decision to decline pleas from the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) and the Transport Ministry to reopen the case of Hong Kong-based Hopewell Company.
In March last year, the Supreme Court enforced the arbitration committee’s decision to have both parties pay about Bt24 billion in compensation to Hopewell (Thailand) for terminating the company’s contract in 1997 to build an elevated road and train system in Bangkok.
After the court announced its verdict, Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, speaking as Ministry of Transport supervisor, said that the government would fight this case to the end as “paying this large amount of money would not be easy.”
Transport Minister Saksyam Chidchob had also said that the ministry will try every way to avoid paying the compensation. “In our latest efforts, the ministry had SRT file a case at the Supreme Administrative Court to consider the legitimacy of Hopewell’s registration, as well as filed a petition at the National Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate possible corruption in this case,” he said. “The ministry has 90 days before the deadline to pay the compensation, while the 7.5 per cent interest will not increase during these 90 days.”

Related Story: Top court denies request to reopen Hopewell case