Kittiratt cleared of malfeasance

Kittiratt cleared of malfeasance
Kittiratt Na-Ranong, deputy adviser to the prime minister, walks to a conference in Government House on April 2, 2024. ( Photo: Chanat Katanyu )

The Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Persons Holding Political Positions in a Malfeasance circumstance relating to the Yingluck Shinawatra government’s sales of milled grain to Indonesia’s foods purchasing agency Perum Bulog in 2011 was cleared of all charges on Thursday by the Criminal Division of the Supreme Court.

Following the National Anti-Corruption Commission ( NACC ) finding support for the allegations against him, Mr. Kittiratt, who is currently Srettha Thavisin’s chief adviser, was indicted in this case in 2021.

It was surprising that the judge eventually found Mr. Kittiratt guilty of the alleged misconduct because he consistently performed his obligations with treatment and integrity after leaving the courtroom.

As the prime minister’s key adviser, he declared,” I will continue to work to the best of my ability.”

Mr Kittiratt’s lawyer, Anek Khamchump, said Mr Kittiratt was found to be innocent because the NACC’s report stated that the rice sold to Perum Bulog had already been examined and approved by the Public Warehouse Organisation’s ( PWO ) working group, which comprises experts from the ministries of Commerce, Agriculture and Cooperatives, and other organisations.

More significantly, the price was also conducted in line with the PWO’s laws, he said.

According to the prosecution, Mr Kittiratt, as the then-commerce secretary, failed to respond to a complaint submitted by the Thai Rice Exporters Association, which had urged him to ensure that the price of the grain to Indonesia’s food sourcing company was conducted freely.

Siam Indica was the only candidate who could qualify, and Perum Bulog was given a contract to provide rice in the process. Siam Indica, but, failed to honour the commitment as it did not fully provide the full amount as required.