By Somluck Ssrimalee
Clarifying his role, the minister said he had been cleared after an investigation by the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) as well as the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Political Office Holders .
He explained to the lower house on Friday night that when the bank’s board considered approving the Bt9.9-billion loan to Krisda Mahanakorn Plc on December 9, 2003, he and Chainarong Indharameesap -- both independent directors -- had opposed the move but the board eventually gave the nod.
Uttama said the case was investigated by the Bank of Thailand and later by the NACC in 2005. However, a coup toppled the government of Thaksin Shinawatra the following year. The case was sent to a committee that examines actions which cause damage to the state. The committee named Uttama as accused No 19. Uttama said when the committee sent this case to the NACC, he had to provide documents and more information before the NACC cleared him of any wrongdoing.
“Insinuations that the NACC wanted me to be a witness in the case is wrong. I was never asked to be a witness. I was thoroughly investigated and the NACC and finally the Supreme Court came to the conclusion that I had not done anything wrong, as a result I have qualified to become the finance minister,” Uttama said.