The OAG said in a statement that the attorney-general had decided to indict prosecutors Thamma Sornchai and Wanchat Choonhathanom, reports the Bangkok Post.
The news follows the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) announcing in December that the agency was moving to have two former Phuket Public Prosecutors charged for corruption for allegedly demanding money from a defendant in order to drop charges of encroaching on state land.
Thamma was accused of demanding a bribe from a company run by a foreign national, sought for prosecution for encroaching on and grabbing land in Sirinart National Park in Thalang district of Phuket. The case reached the prosecutor in 2019, noted the Bangkok Post report today.
The prosecutors allegedly sought a bribe worth B10 million between them, with Wanchat acting as Thamma’s accomplice.
According to the OAG, the attorney-general has assigned the provincial prosecutor’s office to take legal action against the pair. The alleged bribe was demanded with a promise to the company that the case would be dropped and the provincial governor would not seek to reverse the decision.
A complaint was later raised against the prosecutors, prompting the OAG to order a probe which ruled the allegation had grounds. A formal investigation was then set up while at the same time the NACC launched a separate probe into the matter.
According to the OAG, the prosecutor’s investigation confirmed the alleged bribery demand had taken place and ordered one prosecutor to be dismissed and the other transferred from Phuket. It is understood that Thamma had lost his job and Wanchat faced a transfer.
Later, the NACC probe also found grounds for the allegation and recommended the OAG indict the pair.