By The Nation
The lawsuits relate to allegations of bribery involving the Ua Athon housing project for the poor..
Public prosecutors brought the suits separately against Watana and eight other people, as well as Arisman and four others.
Watana, 60, who served as the social development and human security minister in the Thaksin Shinawatra government, is accused of alleged malfeasance and accepting bribes from companies contracted for construction of houses under the project.
The Ua Athon housing project was implemented by the National Housing Authority (NHA).
Also indicted along Watana are Mana Wongpiwat, who headed an NHA project screening subcommittee from 2005 to 2006, and senior executives of the contracting companies.
Arisman, 54, a former Pheu Thai party-list MP, is accused of allegedly encouraging Watana to abuse his power and for Mana to accept the bribes. Co-defendants are private companies involved in the project.