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Abhisit calls for anti-graft commissioners to handle high profile cases

Mar 29. 2017
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By The Nation

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Corruption cases concerning political office holders and high ranking officials should be separated from other cases and handled by anti-graft commissioners, the Democrat Party said.

The call was made at a Constitution Drafting Commission-hosted seminar on the writing of the new anti-corruption organic law on Wednesday in which Virat Kalayasiri, the Democrats’legal department head, represented the party.

The party’s leader, Abhisit Vejjajiva, said he supported that CDC’s intention to reduce the work processes and workload of the National Anti-Corruption Commission. However, he suggested that complaints should still be classified and cases involving political office holders and high ranking officials should be separated from cases involving lower ranking officials.

Abhisit said the commissioners should chair sub-panels that looked into graft cases that involved high-ranking officials and politicians. He disagreed with the CDC on the proposal to remove commissioners from sub-panels to ease their workloads.

It would be perilous to let normal officials take care of important cases because their backgrounds were unknown to the public, Abhisit said.

He said for cases involving lower-ranking officials, the NACC could deploy normal officials to handle them.

Abhisit also laid out four points he is concerned about regarding the NACC organic law, including disagreeing with the proposal to make people who lodge complaints sign the complaints and reveal their identity. This would discourage people from reporting corruption cases over concerns for their safety, he said.

He also disagrees with the proposal to allow NACC staff to carry a weapon, as they were not security officers.

Abhisit apposes the NACC chair being allow to sit on the board of the NACC fund along with the prime minister and ministers. He said given the nature of the ageny’s work, a distance should be kept between it and the powers that be or its work would be affected.

He also said individuals were damaged by corruption and should be allowed to bring such cases to the attention of the NACC. The CDC believed the practice would cause a work overload, but Abhisit said it should not be a problem so long as the cases were worth investigating, and those not worth probing should be dropped.

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