Yingluck 'will return on Sunday' as scheduled, will fight charges

20140508_yingluck_reuters.jpg

Yingluck 'will return on Sunday' as scheduled, will fight charges
File photo of former premier Yingluck Shinawatra.

Former Premier Yingluck Shinawatra will "definitely" return from an overseas trip as scheduled on Sunday to face her court cases, sources said yesterday.

A source from the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) said Yingluck had informally contacted the junta about keeping to her itinerary.

This matches information from a Pheu Thai Party source, who is close to Yingluck, that she would indeed come back by Sunday.

Yingluck is visiting France, the UK and the US since July 23 after getting permission from the NCPO to travel abroad and is scheduled to return on Sunday.

The NCPO source said the junta would not interfere in any of Yingluck's legal cases. The responsible agencies would be allowed to process them. No agency would be set up to follow up on them like the Assets Examination Committee that was formed following the 2006 military coup to investigate corruption cases related to the Thaksin Shinawatra government.

Lt-General Kampanart Ruddit, director of the Reconciliation for Reform Centre, said Yingluck could delay her return if necessary. The NCPO has always been flexible with the people it has summoned. They could explain the reason and would be allowed to report later, he said.

NCPO chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha did not stop Yingluck from leaving the country, as she had not been convicted of any crime. She had also showed her travel plans and air tickets as proof of her sincerity, he said.

Meanwhile, another national security source said that even if Yingluck changes her mind and does not return to Thailand, it would have no effect on the NCPO's work and foreign countries already understand the NCPO.

The NCPO allowed Yingluck to travel as it wanted the country to go towards reconciliation. It also believed Yingluck would not choose the same path as her fugitive brother Thaksin."If Yingluck decides to seek asylum in the UK, it's her choice. The NCPO is unlikely to be affected. Foreign countries now understand the roles of the NCPO in solving the problems. They know that the NCPO is not doing this to seek benefits as some politicians have accused," he said.

NACC findings challenged

Yingluck's attorney, Norawit Lalaeng, filed a petition for a reinvestigation to the Office of the Attorney-General, claiming the probe by the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) was incomplete.

The NACC on Tuesday submitted its case report to pubic prosecutors and recommended her indictment in Criminal Court for dereliction of duty, resulting in a Bt500-billion loss to the state from the rice-pledging scheme. If the state attorneys find the evidence compelling, the case will be forwarded to the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Political Office Holders within 30 days.

Yingluck also faces an impeachment motion over the huge damage caused by the rice scheme.

Norawit, her attorney, said the NACC's decision was based on incomplete information derived from its rushed investigation, which declined to hear the testimonies of important witnesses.

There are also many outstanding issues that are disputable and inconclusive, for example, the rice depreciation rate used to calculate the loss and the quantity of the remaining rice stocks, he said.

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