Activists Prep Complaint to Prod Police Action on Rajabhakti Park

Police officers shut down and cordon off an exhibition of information about alleged graft at Rajabhakti Park on Saturday at Thammasat University's Tha Prachan campus.

BANGKOK — A group of pro-democracy activists wants to be the first to file a criminal complaint into alleged corruption behind a billion-baht “history park” that police and other agencies have so far declined to investigate.

The activist group known as Resistant Citizens said Monday they will file charges themselves because police have said they can’t open a probe until they receive a complaint over the construction of Rajabhakti Park, said to be rife with financial irregularities.

“It will be a starting point for police to proceed with the investigation,” said Arnon Nampha of Resistant Citizens, adding that they will file the complaint Tuesday afternoon with the Crime Suppression Division in Bangkok.


Former Army Chief Explains Royal Park Project Graft


Earlier this month, the former army chief who oversaw the project confirmed some of the alleged corruption detailed in media reports, such as paying a middleman who took 10 percent “commissions,” along with unusually high expenditures and shady transactions in the construction of the park, a massive monument complex constructed by the Royal Thai Army in Prachuap Khiri Khan. 

On Friday the new army chief, Gen. Teerachai Nakwanich, announced the army was satisfied that an internal review of its project found no evidence of corruption. 

“There is no corruption. Every procedure is transparent,” Teerachai said Friday.

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Rajabhakti Park in Prachuap Kiri Khan province

As for the comments made by his predecessor, Gen. Udomdet Sitabutr, he told the media to take their questions to him.

The police have not opened an investigation into the project, with several police representatives saying the could not do so without a criminal complaint.

By filing the charge tomorrow, Arnon said police will be bound by the law to act.

“Under the law, they must investigate it,” said Arnon, a lawyer by profession. “If they don’t, they will be guilty of negligence of duty.” 

 

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