By Thai Newsroom Reporters
IN WHAT WAS SEEN as a rare court case, a senior government official in Yasothon was today (Oct. 12) sentenced to a maximum of 50 years in jail for having often turned a state-owned vehicle bearing the phrase “for official use only” into private use.
The Criminal Court On Corruption & Misconduct for the northeastern region ruled that Rungrak Lukbua, head of the Yasothorn Provincial Administration’s Education, Religion and Culture Section has been found guilty as earlier charged by the provincial branch of the National Anti-Corruption Commission of having perpetrated misconduct by turning the state-own sedan primarily provided for official use into private use as if it was his own possession for nearly two years.
Between 2014 and 2016, the state-owned car had not been parked in the premises of the provincial administration but evidently found at Rungrak’s home in Saimun district and been often used by the defendant to shuttle himself to and from an army golf course where he had played golf.
A total of 21 counts of Rungrak’s convicted misconduct initially handed him a jail sentence of 105 years which was curtailed to 52 years and six months due to confession made by the defendant and finally cut down to a maximum of 50 years.
Meanwhile, a couple of Rungrak’s superior officials were given a reprieve by court from a 12- and 16-year jail sentence with a two-year suspension for having evidently allowed the defendant to have often used the state-owned sedan in private fashion.
However, the defendant’s superior officials, namely Sathiraporn Narksuk, president the Yasothorn Provincial Administration, and Pongsiri Muanchart, vice-president of the Yasothorn Provincial Administration, landed a penalty of 240,000 baht and 320,000 baht in fine respectively.
A graphic image on ethicss by John Hain from Pixabay