Pison Pirun, a judge in the nine-member Supreme Court panel that ruled in the case over the rice-pledging scheme against ex-PM Yingluck Shinawatra case, was the only judge to rule her not guilty on the grounds that “she lacked the intention to cause loss or seek advantage she was not entitled to”.
His ruling was circulated yesterday, three weeks after the panel had read the majority verdict against Yingluck in absentia following her flight from the country.
In his verdict dated September 27, the judge explained that the Attorney-General had prosecuted Yingluck for negligence or misconduct. However, according to the law, the offence must be accompanied also by ill intention, or ill intention to cause loss to others.
The act of negligence alone did not count as an offence in the laws cited by the Attorney-General, Pison pointed out.
Although the prosecutor had proved the rice-pledging scheme was plagued with corruption, there was no evidence that Yingluck had benefited from it, Pison wrote.
In the fake government-to-government rice deals case, although Apichart Chansakulporn, better known as “Sia Piang”, had been ruled guilty, it had not been proved that Yingluck had facilitated the deals either, Pison wrote.
A photograph showing Sia Piang and Yingluck’s brother Thaksin Shinawatra in Hong Kong was not sufficient to prove that she was close to him and could have helped him gain advantage in the deals, Pison wrote.
Although the prosecutor and Yingluck had argued extensively about whether or not the rice-pledging scheme had caused losses or been beneficial to the economy, Pison said those arguments were irrelevant in the context of law.
He also rejected Yingluck’s arguments regarding judicial power as irrelevant.
Pison summed up his verdict by ruling the case against Yingluck should be dismissed.
Eight other judges, however, ruled Yingluck guilty and the panel handed down a five-year imprisonment term.
Yingluck fled the country two days before the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Political Office Holders was scheduled to read the verdict on August 25. She is reportedly seeking asylum in the United Kingdom.