Top cop controversy: PM Srettha denies misconduct

Photo courtesy of The Nation

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin vehemently denied allegations of misconduct in the appointment of Police General Torsak Sukvimol as national police chief.

The Thai premier stood firm against accusations that he had breached the Royal Thai Police (RTP) Act when appointing Torsak Sukvimol last year. The complaint was brought against him by Pol. Gen. Surachate Hakparn aka Big Joke, Torsak’s former deputy.

Big Joke, in his complaint filed with the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) yesterday, July 3, claimed that the 62 year old prime minister violated Article 157 of the Criminal Code by not adhering to the RTP Act. He argued that the RTP Act mandates the prime minister, who is the ex-officio chair of the Police Commission, to prioritise candidates for the police commissioner-general role based on seniority and investigative performance.

Big Joke alleged that that the former real estate tycoon bypassed this requirement by selecting the fourth seniormost candidate without justification, overlooking the top three candidates’ investigative achievements. However, the 62 year old Thai PM countered these claims, asserting that his decision was impartial and made with the utmost integrity.

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The Thai prime minister emphasised that Torsak’s investigative prowess was well-recognised and had received unanimous endorsement from the Police Commission. He also clarified that he had abstained from voting for Torsak due to his role in the nomination process.

“I chose the candidate for the top cop’s job without bias and with honest intentions. So, I’m ready to explain to the NACC.”

Adding to the political drama, the Bangkok-born PM mentioned his uncertainty about whether his legal adviser Wissanu Krea-ngam would lead his defence, as Wissanu is currently prioritising a case before the Constitutional Court.

The court is considering a petition by a group of senators seeking PM Srettha’s removal from office for allegedly breaching ethical standards and the Constitution by appointing Pichit Chuenban as PM’s Office Minister despite Pichit’s controversial past, reported The Nation.

In related news, the Thai PM launched an urgent investigation into claims that entry passes to Government House are being sold for cash.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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