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Court to rule on Potjaman's land deal

The assets scrutiny committee has decided to pass the controversial land deal by Potjaman Shinawatra to a court, said assets scrutiny committee chairman Nam Yimyaem at a radio station this morning.

According to Mr Nam, a National Counter Corruption Commission act bans state officials, including their spouses, to make deal with other state authorities.

''It's a question of law,'' said Mr Nam. "I don't want to give my opinion on this. It should be the court who gives judgement."

The transaction by Khunying Potjaman has become known as the Ratchadapisek land deal. The assets scrutiny committee last week included Khunying Potjaman's 33-rai plot purchase into the list of investigation, after receiving complaints that the wife of the deposed prime minister bought the land at a price much lower than market value when her husband was in power.

Khunying Potjaman bought the plot at 772 million baht from Bank of Thailand's Financial Institutions Development Fund in a bid in 2003. The price rose to about 1.5 billion baht a few days after she secured the deal.

Mr Nam said the committee was not sure whether Khunying Potjaman actually bought the plot, since the committee has not started its investigation into the allegation.

However, according to Mr Nam, if Khunying Potjaman buys the land in a name of a representative or in a company name that she is involved, the result still comes out the same.

While the assets scrutiny committee ruled the the land deal was suspicious, Deputy Prime Minister MR Pridiyathorn Devakula, former BoT governor, disagreed, saying it had been transparent.

© Copyright The Post Publishing Public Co., Ltd. 2006
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