Thai PM, finance minister under probe for SMS scam

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Bangkok, July 16 (ANI): Thailand's National Anti- Corruption Commission (NACC) decided Friday to continue its investigation over the short message services (SMS) case against Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij.

According to Xinhua, the commission was expected to announce whether it pursues or drops the case, in which Abhisit and Korn were accused of misusing mobile-phone SMS in December 2008 to receive assets.

Under the anti-graft law, Korn and Abhisit will have to suspend their duties if the NACC proceeds with the case and decides on the sufficient cause to suspect their guilt, paving way for the impeachment proceedings.

After that the Supreme Court for political post holders will take on the case to give the final verdict.

The opposition Pheu Thai Party earlier filed a complaint to the commission and sought removal of Abhisit and Korn for asking three major mobile phone operators to send text messages to 17 million domestic cell phones users, and therefore, receiving assets worth more than 3,000 baht (about 93 U.S. dollars).

The anti-graft law prohibits government officials from accepting any assets worth more than 3,000 baht.

If found guilty, they can be jailed for a maximum of three years or fined a maximum of 60,000 baht or both. They may also be impeached from their positions in accordance with the Constitution. (ANI)

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