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Kittiratt Na-Ranong Acquitted: Former Deputy PM Cleared of Malfeasance in Rice Deal

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Kittiratt Na-Ranong, chief adviser to the prime minister, took a brisk walk towards a pivotal meeting at Government House on April 2, 2024. His stride was confident, a subtle testament to the significant news that had just emerged. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)

The former deputy prime minister and commerce minister, Kittiratt Na-Ranong, found himself in the spotlight again, albeit for a more favorable reason this time. On Thursday, he was acquitted by the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Persons Holding Political Positions in a malfeasance case that had dogged him for years. The case was intricately tied to the Yingluck Shinawatra government’s sale of milled rice to Indonesia’s food procurement agency, Perum Bulog, back in 2011.

Mr. Kittiratt, who now serves as the chief adviser to Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, was initially indicted in 2021 following allegations by the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC). They believed there were sufficient grounds for malfeasance allegations against him. But after a prolonged legal battle, the scales of justice tipped in his favor.

Emerging from the courtroom, Mr. Kittiratt couldn’t help but share his relief and satisfaction. “I have always carried out my duties with utmost care and honesty. It comes as no surprise to me that the court has finally recognized my integrity by clearing me of these allegations,” he declared. With a renewed vigor, he added, “I will continue to serve to the best of my abilities as the chief adviser to the prime minister.”

Anek Khamchump, Mr. Kittiratt’s lawyer, shed light on the crux of the verdict. He explained that his client was exonerated primarily because the NACC’s report clarified that the rice transaction with Perum Bulog had been scrupulously examined and greenlit by the Public Warehouse Organisation’s (PWO) working committee. This committee touted experts from the Commerce, Agriculture, and Cooperatives ministries, among other reputable entities.

“More crucially,” Mr. Khamchump highlighted, “the sale adhered strictly to the PWO’s established regulations.” According to the indictment, Mr. Kittiratt, during his tenure as commerce minister, had allegedly neglected to respond to a petition from the Thai Rice Exporters Association. The petition urged him to ensure the legality of the rice sale to Indonesia’s procurement agency.

Interestingly, Siam Indica emerged as the sole eligible contender for the contract to supply rice to Perum Bulog. However, the plot thickened when Siam Indica fell short of its contractual obligations, failing to provide the complete quantity of rice as stipulated.

In the end, justice prevailed for Mr. Kittiratt Na-Ranong, a man who stood firmly by his actions and decisions, navigating through the turmoil with unwavering integrity. As he continues his journey as a pivotal adviser to the prime minister, his story serves as a compelling chapter in the annals of Thai political history. And perhaps, somewhere in the corridors of power, the echo of his resilient footsteps still lingers.


  1. Sarah J July 11, 2024

    I can’t believe he got acquitted. This sounds like another corrupt politician getting away with their crimes!

    • John Doe July 11, 2024

      Hold on, Sarah. Just because he was accused doesn’t mean he was guilty. The court found no evidence against him.

      • Sarah J July 11, 2024

        Courts can be influenced too. I’ve lost faith in our justice system.

      • Mary Lynn July 11, 2024

        But isn’t it also possible that he was innocent from the beginning? Not every accusation is true.

    • Bobby1979 July 11, 2024

      Exactly, we shouldn’t rush into judgment without all the facts.

  2. Larry Davis July 11, 2024

    This case was pure politics from the start. They accused him based on flimsy grounds.

    • proudThai123 July 11, 2024

      I agree. It was clearly a smear campaign.

    • James Lee July 11, 2024

      How do you know? The NACC wouldn’t just accuse someone without reason.

    • Larry Davis July 11, 2024

      Look at the facts, James. The sale was examined and approved by experts. This was a bogus case.

  3. Mila July 11, 2024

    Where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire. Politicians always find a way to wiggle out.

  4. Grower134 July 11, 2024

    As a rice farmer, I think this whole case ignored the impact on us. Corruption or not, we suffer the most from these deals.

    • ecoWarrior July 11, 2024

      That’s a great point. Farmers are often collateral damage in these political games.

    • Historian92 July 11, 2024

      This actually raises bigger questions about agricultural policies in our country. We need reforms.

    • Grower134 July 11, 2024

      Absolutely. We need policies that prioritize the wellbeing of farmers over political gains.

  5. Nikki P July 11, 2024

    I’m so glad he got acquitted. The accusations were baseless.

    • Derek July 11, 2024

      I’m not so sure about that. There’s always more to these stories than we know.

    • Nikki P July 11, 2024

      True, but in this case, the court made the right decision based on the given facts.

  6. Lucas July 11, 2024

    This is just another example of how politics is a dirty game.

    • IndieGirl78 July 11, 2024

      It’s sad but true. We need more transparency in our government.

    • dave88 July 11, 2024

      Transparency won’t fix everything. People need to be held accountable!

  7. Jane Q July 11, 2024

    The real losers in these political conflicts are the common people.

  8. expertAnalyst56 July 11, 2024

    This case highlights the inefficiencies and potential biases within our anti-corruption agencies. A thorough review is needed.

  9. Sam T. July 11, 2024

    How many times have we seen politicians cleared just to go back to their questionable activities?

    • Joe July 11, 2024

      It’s frustrating, but not every case is the same. Some might be genuinely innocent.

    • Sam T. July 11, 2024

      That’s a fair point, Joe. Still, it’s hard to trust any of them.

  10. whitecollar July 11, 2024

    I’m more interested in how this verdict will affect Kittiratt’s position as adviser. Will he be more influential now?

    • politico_expert July 11, 2024

      Absolutely. His cleared name might give him more trust and power in the government.

    • Sceptic27 July 11, 2024

      Or it could backfire and people might suspect the PM’s office even more.

    • whitecollar July 11, 2024

      That’s true. Time will tell how this unfolds.

  11. Ali G July 11, 2024

    The court’s decision shows faith in the judicial process. We need to respect it.

  12. CuriousMind July 11, 2024

    Does anyone know what happened with the failed contract by Siam Indica? They should be scrutinized too.

    • Mark R July 11, 2024

      That’s a good point. The focus has been entirely on Kittiratt and not on the contractor.

    • DeepDiver July 11, 2024

      I suspect there might be more to uncover about Siam Indica’s role in this deal.

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