The National Counter Corruption Commission resolved Friday to conduct an investigation against 28 members of the Cabinet of former prime minister Samak Sundaravej for their part in endorsing a Thai-Cambodian joint communiqu้.
The National Counter Corruption Commission is set to prosecute the 28 Cabinet ministers of the Samak administration for their involvement in the Thai-Cambodian joint communique
The Constitution Court had ruled that the communique violated Article 190 of the Constitution. The joint declaration was signed by then Foreign Affairs Minister Noppdon Pattama without first receiving approval by Parliament.
The NCCC found the 28 ministers of the Samak administration guilty of participating in the drafting of unconstitutional declaration.
PM Somchai Wongsawat says he’s not worried about the NCCC’s move. He adds that the NCCC’s action will not affect the upcoming Cabinet reshuffle.
A Cabinet reshuffle is expected after the royal cremation ceremony for HRH Princess Galyani Vadhana draws to a close on November 19, 2008.
NCCC decides to probe Samak Cabinet over Preah Vihear joint communiqu
Somlak Jadkrabuanpol, an NCCC member, said the NCCC would inform the 28 former members of the Samak Cabinet of the charges by Monday.
She said the NCCC would investigate the Cabinet members for endorsing the Thai-Cambodian joint communiqu้ in support of the listing of Preah Vihear as a world heritage site without seeking Parliament’s approval first.
Nation / Nov14, 2008
Govt to set up panel to prepare testimony in Preah Vihear case
The government will set up a working group to prepare testimony for Cabinet members, including Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat, who have been indicted by the anti-graft agency for their endorsement to a communiqu? supporting Cambodia’s bid to list Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage site.
The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) on Thursday resolved to charge 28 members of the previous Cabinet led by Samak Sundaravej for negligence and violating Article 190 of the Constitution, which states that any treaty that would affect Thai territories or sovereign rights must be approved by the National Assembly.
Many of those indicted are in the current Cabinet, including Somchai, who served as education minister in the Samak administration.
Former Foreign Minister Cancels Press Conference on Preah Vihear Ruling
The former foreign affairs minister, who had to resign because of the Preah Vihear Temple controversy, has cancelled a press conference to counter the decision by the National Counter Corruption Commission to charge 28 ministers of the previous government with violating the Constitution.
Meanwhile, the prime minister says he will have to look over documents in the case before meeting the commission to explain himself.
Last night, the NCCC announced a decision to charge 28 ministers in the Samak Sundaravej government for violating article 190 of the Constitution in endorsing the joint communique that allowed Cambodia to solely list Preah Vihear Temple as a World Heritage Site.
Former Foreign Minister Noppadon Pattama originally scheduled a press conference for this morning but later decided to cancel it. Noppadon had to resign from his post over this controversy.
Upon his return this morning at 5am from attending the BIMSTEC meeting in India, Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat commented on the issue, saying it is merely a decision by the NCCC to announce the charge against the ministers. The next step will have to be the ministers’ clarification before the commission. He added that he has not seen documents concerning how the clarification will proceed.
When asked whether this will affect the government’s work, Somchai insisted it will not and said as long as he is in power, he will continue to work until the end of his term. He promised to work for the benefit of the people.
The NCCC announced its charge against 28 ministers in the Samak Cabinet who attended the Cabinet meeting on June 17 this year, which endorsed the controversial joint communique. The 28 include most ministers in the current administration, as well as Somchai himself, who was Education Minister at the time.
The charge concerns violation of article 190 of the Constitution, which states that any agreement that pertains to the country’s sovereignty must be approved by Parliament before it can be signed by the government.
The NCCC will officially charge the 28 within 15 days, after which they can appear before the commission to clarify the charge or forfeit that right. A letter will be sent to former Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej’s house about the charge, and the commission believes he will return in time to clarify the charge even though he is currently in the United States seeking treatment for live cancer.
Six ministers who were absent from the meeting will not be charged. They include former Finance Minister Surapong Suebwonglee, current Tourism and Sports Minister Weerasak Kowsurat, former Deputy Interior Minister Sitthichai Kowsurat, and former Energy Minister Poonpirom Liptapanlop.
A number of state officials were also let off the hook