RICE PLEDGING SCHEME

All posts tagged RICE PLEDGING SCHEME

Nearly 1,000 lower-ranking officials in net over rice case

Published September 26, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/politics/Nearly-1000-lower-ranking-officials-in-net-over-ri-30296061.html

RICE-PLEDGING SCHEME

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Public sector anti-graft body to come down heavily in over 800 cases of alleged wrongdoing

THE PUBLIC Sector Anti-Corruption Commission will widen the net to implicate a large number of lower-ranking officials found guilty in the Yingluck government’s rice-pledging scheme, according to PACC secretary-general Prayong Preeyachit.

Deputy Premier Wissanu Krea-ngam also suggested that another 50 to 70 lower-ranking officials were likely to be implicated in the related alleged fake government-to-government (G-to-G) rice-sale contracts executed by ex-commerce minister Boonsong Teriyapirom and five other defendants.

According to Prayong, there are more than 800 cases of alleged wrongdoing in the rice-pledging scheme involving more than 1,000 lower-ranking officials, including those responsible for rice warehousing and surveying at the Marketing Organisation for Farmers.

The previous government purchased more than 10 million tonnes of rice paddy from farmers and stored it at various warehouses in an attempt to boost farmers’ income.

Prayong said a subcommittee would be appointed next month to pursue these cases.

He said the investigation would be completed in six months. If officials concerned were guilty, the PACC board would forward the cases to public prosecutors for disciplinary action and other measures.

Regarding the alleged bogus G-to-G rice-deal case, Wissanu said the investigation should be completed within two months and would lead to disciplinary action and other punitive actions against wrongdoers involved in executing the alleged fake contracts which did not result in export sales of Thai rice to China.

This case is related to the bigger rice-pledging scheme case in which ex-premier YingluckShinawatra has been charged with negligence leading to massive financial damage to the state.

Yingluck is also facing a civil liability lawsuit in which she could be hit with a massive compensation bill to cover the losses.

The rice-pledging scheme led to losses of Bt510 billion as it allowed farmers to sell an unlimited amount of rice paddy to the government at Bt15,000 per tonne against a market price of only B7,000-Bt8,000 per tonne.

An initial estimate shows that the financial damage accountable to former politicians and bureaucrats could be around Bt170-Bt200 billion.

In addition, there were alleged fake G-to-G rice-export deals which were sold domestically and as such did not help support domestic rice prices.

Chusak Sirinil, head of the Pheu Thai Party’s legal team, said the Prayut government’s strong actions against Yingluck were unprecedented and politically motivated.

He said no other ex-premier had faced criminal and civil liability lawsuits linked to government policies implemented as part of a policy statement delivered to Parliament.

According to Chusak, public policies should not be judged on the basis of profit and loss.

He said it was also unprecedented that Yingluck’s rice-pledging scheme was regarded as an undertaking that caused financial damage to the state.

Citing the state officials’ civil liability law, Chusak said previous cases such as the multibillion-baht fire engine controversy were not like the rice-pledging scheme since the latter was a policy announced in Parliament.

Chusak said the Prayut government should also wait for the final verdict in the criminal cases against Yingluck before filing the civil compensation lawsuits.

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Wissanu defends civil suit against Boonsong, 5 others

Published September 26, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/politics/Wissanu-defends-civil-suit-against-Boonsong-5-othe-30295901.html

RICE-PLEDGING SCHEME

Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam

Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam

Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam defended the integrity of the civil liability lawsuit filed against former commerce minister Boonsong Teriyapirom and five others, saying that since the case’s statute of limitations is only two years, the government had no choice but to expedite the proceedings.

The six members of the |previous government are being sued and face asset seizure over damages incurred from fake government-to-government rice deals.

Boonsong had said earlier that the due process of law was absent in his case because Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha had invoked special powers under Article 44 to order asset seizure while a related criminal case was still pending in the Supreme Court.

The former minister is being sued for Bt1.7 billion of the Bt20 billion sought by the government for damages from the bogus contracts signed by the previous administration to allegedly sell 6.2 million tonnes of Thai rice to China.

Wissanu said yesterday that the compensation lawsuit had been filed under the state officials’ civil liability law, so it was different from criminal cases pending in the Supreme Court and will take some time before a verdict is issued.

Under the civil liability law, the cases against Boonsong and five others will expire on February 16 or 17, 2017.

The deputy premier also defended the use of absolute power under the interim charter’s Article 44, saying that in this case the Administrative Court still has the final say if the defendants seek an injunction on the government’s asset seizure order.

Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn, meanwhile, said she was not worried by Boonsong’s threat to file counter-suits against her for going ahead with the executive order to seize his assets.

Bt20 bn damages sought

Published September 26, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/politics/Bt20-bn-damages-sought-30295739.html

RICE-PLEDGING SCHEME

Civil liability case against former minister Boonsong and five others gets go-ahead in ‘fake’ rice deal case

THE GOVERNMENT will seek massive compensation totalling Bt20 billion from former commerce minister Boonsong Teriyapirom and five others in a major civil-liability case concerning alleged fake government-to-government deals to sell 6.2 million tonnes of rice to China.

The civil-liability case was given the go-ahead by Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn and Commerce permanent secretary Chutima Bunyapraphasara yesterday.

According to the ministry’s document, Boonsong will likely face a compensation lawsuit of Bt1.7 billion while Bt2.3 billion will be sought from his then deputy minister Poom Sarapol.

In addition, the former secretary to the commerce minister Weerawut Wajanaphukka; the former Department of Foreign Trade (DFT) director-general Manas Soiploy; the DFT’s former director of foreign rice trade unit Tikhumporn Natvaratat; and former DFT secretary Akharaphong Chuaikliang will face compensation lawsuits of Bt4 billion each.

After receiving the executive order on the case from the Commerce Ministry, all six defendants will have 30 days to lodge an appeal. If there is no response, the ministry will issue another notice to the defendants to appeal within the next 15 days.

If there is still no appeal, the Commerce Ministry will forward the case to the Department of Legal Execution, which has been empowered to seize the defendants’ assets. However, the defendants can petition the Administrative Court for an injunction against the seizure of assets.

All six defendants were responsible for signing alleged bogus G-to-G agreements with China for the sale of 6.2 million tonnes from the Thai government’s rice stockpile during the Yingluck Shinawatra administration’s rice-pledging scheme. However, these alleged fake deals led to only domestic rice sales and there were no exports.

Awaiting documents on Yingluck

Commerce Minister Apiradi yesterday signed the executive order on behalf of Prime Minister PrayutChan o-cha, while the Commerce permanent secretary signed the order on behalf of the commerce minister.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Apisak Tantiworawong said he had not yet received a document on another case concerning former premier Yingluck Shinwatra’s civil liability in the rice-pledging scheme.

The government has already set aside Bt59 billion in the fiscal 2017 expenditure budget to

cover the massive financial damage totalling an estimated Bt510 billion resulting from the previous government’s rice-pledging scheme.

Apisak said he will have to study the details of the case before signing the document to proceed with the civil-liability lawsuit against the former premier. A government committee responsible for this case has yet to finalise the compensation amount to be sought from the defendants in this case, he explained. “I will undersign the document along with the prime minister after which the document will be forwarded to the Department of Legal Execution for further action,” he said.

In a Facebook post, Boonsong said it was unfair for the Prayut government to exercise authority under Article 44 of the interim charter to seize ex-politicians’ assets ahead of the court’s final verdict over alleged wrongdoing in G-to-G rice deals and other related cases.

Boonsong also threatened to file counter-lawsuits against those who are responsible for unfair legal actions against him.

The former minister also said his criminal case is still pending in the Supreme Court so there should be no hurry on the civil-liability case.

According to law, the statute of limitations in the civil-liability case will expire in February next year.

Former premier Yingluck is also facing a similar criminal lawsuit in the Supreme Court as well as a pending civil-liability case.

Civil-liability case launched to seize Boonsong’s assets

Published September 26, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/politics/Civil-liability-case-launched-to-seize-Boonsongs-a-30295518.html

RICE-PLEDGING SCHEME

THE GOVERNMENT is proceeding with formal action to recover more than Bt20 billion in compensation from ex-politicians and bureaucrats to cover financial damages resulting from the previous Yingluck government’s fake contracts to sell rice to China.

Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha had given the green light for the permanent secretary of Commerce to proceed with the civil liability case, after which six defendants will be formally advised of the charges.

The bogus government-to-government (G2G) rice deals, involving a total of 6.2 million tonnes of Thai rice, were signed and executed by former commerce minister Boonsong Teriyapirom and five others.

Civil liability law covers all elected officials and bureaucrats accused of causing financial damage to the state while in office. The law empowers authorities to seek financial compensation in relevant cases.

Defendants have a total of 45 days to dispute the charges after which the Commerce Ministry will forward the case to the Department of Legal Execution, which has the authority to seize the defendants’ assets pending a ruling by the Administrative Court.

Chutima Boonyaprapat, the outgoing permanent secretary who retires on September 30, said the ministry had a team of lawyers on this case, adding that defendants may seek an injunction on the seizure of assets and fight the case in court.

Wiboonlasana Ruamraksa, the incoming permanent secretary, said she had no details on the case, so it would take time to review the case before she can sign the executive order as assigned by the Commerce minister.

Warong Dejkijvikrom, a former Democrat MP, said the commerce minister appears to have lacked political leadership because she assigned the permanent secretary to sign the executive order on her behalf.

As well as former commerce minister Boonsong, former premier YIngluck Shinawatra is also expected to face a massive civil liability lawsuit as a result of the rice-pledging scheme. State losses and financial damages in the case are estimated to be Bt178 billion to Bt286 billion covering five rice production seasons.

The rice-pledging scheme was the largest farm price intervention effort covering all paddy that was sold to the government at around Bt15,000 per tonne, against the prevailing market price of only Bt7,000 to Bt8,000 per tonne.

Government sources said Yingluck could be held responsible for 20 per cent of the damages or Bt35.7 billion.

Article 44 paves way to seize Yingluck’s assets

Published September 26, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/politics/Article-44-paves-way-to-seize-Yinglucks-assets-30295312.html

RICE-PLEDGING SCHEME

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Legal execution department empowered to act against those breaking civil liability law.

PRIME MINISTER Prayut Chan-o-cha has invoked Article 44 of the interim charter to enable the seizure of assets of those responsible for the rice-pledging scheme.

Former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her commerce minister Boonsong Teriyapirom, among others, could have their assets seized over the massive damages.

The Department of Legal Execution has been empowered to seize assets of state officials found guilty of breaking the civil-liability law.

A fact-finding committee appointed by the Prayut government concluded that the previous Yingluckgovernment’s rice-pledging scheme had resulted in losses of more than Bt200 billion in taxpayers’ money.

According to Prayut, the Department of Legal Execution will help enforce the law to ensure that state officials face civil liability lawsuits since the Commerce Ministry has dragged its feet in pursuing the cases against Yingluck and Boonsong.

The deadline for filing the civil-liability lawsuits is February next year.

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said other aspects of the justice process in this case remained unchanged.

However, the Commerce Ministry needs help because the estimated losses and value of assets in question are high.

Besides the rice-mortgaging scheme, the 56/2559 order issued by Prayut in his capacity as head of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) under the interim charter also covers the price-support schemes for cassava and maize.

Wissanu said each of the ministries concerned is supposed to enforce the state officials’ civil liability law.

However, he found that the Commerce Ministry does not have personnel capable of carrying out the task, so it needs help from other agencies such as the Department of Legal Execution, which normally enforces the law after the court delivers its final ruling.

Wissanu said state officials found guilty under the civil-liability law could file an appeal against an executive order to seize assets with the Administrative Court, which has the authority to issue an injunction.

In the event of temporary protection by the court, the assets will not be seized, pending the court’s final ruling. As a result, Prayut‘s 56/2559 order under the interim charter has no effect on the judicial process.

“This case serves as a lesson in enforcing the law since there is no specific agency designated for asset seizure.

“If the case is concerned with assets worth Bt10 million-Bt20 million, there is no problem, but therice-pledging scheme is huge in terms of damages and asset seizures,” he said.

He declined to say if the government is about to issue an order to seize the assets of former commerce minister Boonsong, who is also facing criminal charges for signing fake government-to-government rice sale deals in connection with the rice-pledging scheme.

Prayut‘s 56/2559 announcement also provides legal immunity to state officials involved in farm commodity sale schemes for the existing stocks of rice, tapioca and maize, in order to ensure flexible work, accelerate the clearing out of stockpiles and reduce inventory costs.

Kriboon Suadsong, chairman of the Public Warehouse Organisation, said the enforcement of Article 44 should increase working efficiency in releasing the large inventory of farm commodities, whose quality has deteriorated due to prolonged storage.

The government’s inventory includes 340,000 tonnes of cassava, for which the Foreign Trade Department has sought bids from industrial users.

The government is also considering auctioning 94,000 tonnes of maize soon.

The government now has about 8.4 million tonnes of rice in storage.

Keerati Rushchano, deputy director-general of the Foreign Trade Department, said the cassava sale will cause a loss to the country, as the pledging prices since 2009 have been higher – up to Bt7 a kilogram for cassava chips – but the bids range from 10 satang to about Bt3 per kilogram.

Assets worth Bt7 bn seized over rice deal

Published September 26, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/politics/Assets-worth-Bt7-bn-seized-over-rice-deal-30294973.html

RICE PLEDGING SCHEME

Apichart of Sia Pieng

Apichart of Sia Pieng

Yingluck questions AMLO’s action when the judicial process has not been competed yet.

THE Anti-Money Laundering Organisation (AMLO) has seized multiple bank accounts and land plots worth nearly Bt7 billion in connection with the fake government-to-government (G-to-G) rice deals signed by former commerce minister Boonsong Teriyapirom.

The multi-billion-baht assets belong to Siam Indiga Co, Siralai Co and persons related to Apichart Chansakulporn, better known as Sia Pieng, according to Pol General Chaiya Siriamphunkul, secretary-general of AMLO.

He said the National Anti-Corruption Commission had ruled that Boonsong and 21 others were guilty of helping the private firms buy rice from the government’s pledging scheme at a price lower than the domestic price without a competitive bidding process.

Then, these domestic rice transactions were used as bogus G-to-G rice deals between Thailand and China. The wrongdoing led to financial damage in excess of Bt20 billion for the Department of Foreign Trade.

According to AMLO, the assets seized by the agency included 51 bank accounts worth a combined Bt921 million and 611 land plots in Bangkok, Lampoon, Phuket, Phang Nga, Ayuthaya and Angthong, worth a combined Bt5.97 billion.

The fake G-to-G rice deals were signed during the tenure of the Yingluck Shinwatra government, which implemented a massive rice-pledging scheme to buy an unlimited quantity of rice from farmers at Bt15,000 per tonne compared to the then-prevailing market price of Bt7,000 to 8,000 per tonne.

Bogus G-to-G rice deals were then used to show that the government was able to export a significant amount of rice to reduce its financial burden. It was later found, however, that the deals were in fact domestic rice transactions carried out by Siam Indiga and other private firms.

Former premier Yingluck and former commerce minister Boonsong are now facing criminal and civil liability lawsuits in the Supreme Court for violating Article 157 of the Criminal Code and for causing financial damage to the state.

Yingluck previously defended the rice-pledging scheme as a policy that benefited farmers who gained from the high rice price, even though the government faced a heavy loss from buying the massive amount of rice from farmers and was unable to export the crop in large quantities.

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam earlier said the Department of Legal Execution will also be authorised under Article 44 of the interim charter to seize assets of suspects in the fake rice deals as the Commerce Ministry is finalising a civil liability lawsuit against Boonsong and others.

Meanwhile, Yingluck yesterday suggested that the justice process would be affected if the government resorts to exercise its authority under Article 44 of the interim charter to seize assets from those alleged to have committed wrongdoing in the rice-pledging scheme.

The former premier yesterday attended the Supreme Court’s hearing on the case while many well-wishers showed up to express moral support for her. She said the justice process is not finished and any civil liability lawsuits should wait until the court makes its ruling.

 

Rice scheme properly run : former minister

Published August 25, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/politics/Rice-scheme-properly-run-former-minister-30293339.html

RICE-PLEDGING SCHEME

Hundreds of fans swarm around former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra as she arrives at Supreme Court on Friday for the ongoing negligence trial over rice-pledging scheme. By Pramote Putthaisong ‪#‎NationPhoto‬

Hundreds of fans swarm around former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra as she arrives at Supreme Court on Friday for the ongoing negligence trial over rice-pledging scheme. By Pramote Putthaisong ‪#‎NationPhoto‬

Hundreds of fans swarm around former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra as she arrives at Supreme Court on Friday for the ongoing negligence trial over rice-pledging scheme. By Pramote Putthaisong ‪#‎NationPhoto‬

Hundreds of fans swarm around former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra as she arrives at Supreme Court on Friday for the ongoing negligence trial over rice-pledging scheme. By Pramote Putthaisong ‪#‎NationPhoto‬

Hundreds of fans swarm around former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra as she arrives at Supreme Court on Friday for the ongoing negligence trial over rice-pledging scheme. By Pramote Putthaisong ‪#‎NationPhoto‬

Hundreds of fans swarm around former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra as she arrives at Supreme Court on Friday for the ongoing negligence trial over rice-pledging scheme. By Pramote Putthaisong ‪#‎NationPhoto‬

Hundreds of fans swarm around former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra as she arrives at Supreme Court on Friday for the ongoing negligence trial over rice-pledging scheme. By Pramote Putthaisong ‪#‎NationPhoto‬

Hundreds of fans swarm around former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra as she arrives at Supreme Court on Friday for the ongoing negligence trial over rice-pledging scheme. By Pramote Putthaisong ‪#‎NationPhoto‬

Hundreds of fans swarm around former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra as she arrives at Supreme Court on Friday for the ongoing negligence trial over rice-pledging scheme. By Pramote Putthaisong ‪#‎NationPhoto‬

Hundreds of fans swarm around former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra as she arrives at Supreme Court on Friday for the ongoing negligence trial over rice-pledging scheme. By Pramote Putthaisong ‪#‎NationPhoto‬

A FORMER deputy agriculture minister told a Supreme Court hearing yesterday the Yingluck Shinawatra government had strict measures to test the quality of rice under the rice-pledging scheme.

Varathep Ratanakorn, who served as deputy agriculture minister and Prime Minister’s Office minister in the Yingluck administration, also said that rice farmers had to be registered in order to take part in the scheme.

He was acting as a defence witness in yesterday’s hearing of the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division on Political Office Holders in a case against Yingluck.

The former prime minister, whose government was ousted from power in the May 2014 coup, has been indicted by the Attorney General’s Office for alleged negligence in regard to massive irregularities stemming from the scheme. State losses have been estimated at over Bt500 billion.

The court asked Varathep if the Yingluck government had measures to prevent rice from outside the country being used in the project. He said the participating farmers had to be registered and residents in their communities had to guarantee that the farmers grew rice.

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He said the authorities relied on aerial images to determine whether new rice paddies were grown on plantations.

However, he admitted that such checks were randomly applied on the participating farmers, possibly 25 per cent of the overall number, as there were many farms that could not be checked. He said it was unlikely farmers sold cheaper smuggled foreign rice to the project.

But he admitted there were rumours at the time that rice from neighbouring countries had been smuggled into the country. The Defence Ministry had instructed the military to work with police to intercept any smuggled rice.

The court will hear evidence from more Yingluck witnesses on September 9, including her former adviser Olarn Chaipravat, who went on to serve as Thailand’s trade representative, and Sumet Laomoraporn, chief executive of CP Intertrade.

Sixteen more defence witnesses are expected to testify before the court in February, March, May and June.

 

G-to-G deals of Yingluck government ‘were fake’

Published March 14, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/politics/G-to-G-deals-of-Yingluck-government-were-fake-30280306.html

RICE PLEDGING SCHEME

Former premier Yingluck Shinawatra receives roses from supporters yesterday after attending a hearing at the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Political Office Holders in the case on her government’s rice pledging scheme.

Former premier Yingluck Shinawatra receives roses from supporters yesterday after attending a hearing at the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Political Office Holders in the case on her government’s rice pledging scheme.

Witness says no evidence of 14M tonnes of rice sales; court told about collusion between rice millers and farmers.

A KEY state witness in the third hearing on alleged mismanagement of the Yingluck Shinawatra government’s rice-pledging scheme testified before the Supreme Court yesterday that most of the government-to-government (G-to-G) rice deals totalling 14 million tonnes were fake.

Meanwhile, another state witness told the court that some rice millers had colluded with farmers to abuse the scheme whose losses amounted to more than Bt500 billion.

Vichai Sriprasert, honorary president of the Thai Rice Exporters’ Association, told the court that only 1 million tonnes of rice were sold on a G-to-G basis, to China, during the previous government’s tenure.

However, there was no credible evidence for combined G-to-G sales of as much as 14 million tonnes as claimed by the previous government, according to Vichai. Former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who also attended yesterday’s court hearing, is facing criminal charges of negligence for alleged failure to prevent corruption in implementing the controversial rice-subsidy scheme.

There were about 200 well-wishers at the Supreme Court’s premises yesterday, who gave moral support to the ousted former premier.

The Yingluck government spent a record amount – close to Bt1 trillion of taxpayers’ money – to buy more than 10 million tonnes of rice from farmers at Bt15,000 per tonne against the market price of only Bt9,000 at that time, resulting in enormous losses.

A recent government investigation showed that farmers had benefited from the scheme but there were many loopholes in the implementation that resulted in excessive losses.

In addition to criminal charges filed with the Supreme Court, Yingluck is facing a potential civil liability lawsuit for causing damage to the state. Vichai, who has been in the rice trading business for about 40 years, told the court that Thailand usually produces 20 million tonnes of rice annually, with half of the output for domestic consumption while the other half is exported.

In his opinion, the Yingluck government’s programme suffered heavy losses because of mismanagement and failure to follow market mechanisms.

The rice exporters’ association had urged the Yingluck government to review the programme many times, but there was no response, he said, adding the buying price set by her government was not consistent with the market price, resulting in big losses.

During a cross-examination, a lawyer representing Yingluck questioned the state witness and pointed out that the higher buying price set by the previous government had benefited farmers. However, Vichai said the price was far too high considering the prevailing market price at the time, as a result it was not possible for the government to sell its rice inventory adequately to manage its position and minimise losses with such a price intervention scheme.

The inappropriate price also led to huge government stocks whose rice quality would have deteriorated over time, while the scheme lasted nearly three years resulting in more damage.

Another state witness, Rawee Rungruang, leader of a farmers’ network, told the court that the rice-subsidy scheme was good for farmers, but it was not implemented efficiently, resulting in abuses totalling 270 cases nationwide in which millers and farmers colluded to qualify for the scheme.

Meanwhile, Suebpong Sripongkul, spokesman of the Criminal Court, said court hearings and testimonies should not be interpreted to mislead the public in this controversial case. In addition, he said, witnesses should not give media interviews while the court is still deliberating the case.

 

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