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DSI finalising Abhisit, Suthep case

Posted by Rattana_S On June - 6 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

The Department of Special Investigation will hold a meeting on June 14 to finalise the case against former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and his former deputy Suthep Thaugsuban before submitting it to the prosecution, DSI chief Tarit Pengdith said on Wednesday.

Mr Tarit, speaking at the DSI’s weekly press conference, was referring to the investigation into the deaths of 91 people in the political violence in 2010.

He said Mr Abhisit had submitted his defence statement.

The DSI will hold a meeting on June 14 at 4pm to finalise the investigation report, which will then be submitted to the prosecution.

After that, a letter will be sent to Mr Abhisit and Mr Suthep, who was director of the Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation (CRES) responsible for the crackdown on the red-shirt protests, advising them of the date they should report to the prosecutors. It was expected to be some time late this month, Mr Tarit said.

Mr Abhisit and Mr Suthep face charges of premedidated murder in the deaths of taxi driver Phan Khamkong and a boy named Kunakorn Srisuwan, and attempted murder for the injuries incurred by Samorn Maithong.

Take group seriously : Abhisit

Posted by Rattana_S On June - 4 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Chalerm dismisses demonstrators as just ‘yellow shirts in disguise’

Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva urged the government yesterday to consider why people had to wear masks to protest against it.

Commenting on the rally by hundreds of people wearing the white Guy Fawkes masks, Abhisit said the government should not have dismissed the protesters as the same old group of opponents.

“The government should have considered what caused them to come out to protest,” Abhisit said.

He said if the Pheu Thai-led government had resolved national problems, the country would have remained peaceful and it would have had time to solve issues.

If the government had not tried to help former prime minister Thaksin and pushed for an amnesty bill, political tension would not have mounted.

Abhisit also called on the PM to warn the red shirts to stop breaking the law by intimidating opponents. He said the red shirts did not hold symbolic demonstrations but blocked roads and searched other people’s vehicles, which violated the law.

About 700 hundred opponents of the government clad in white Guy Fawkes masks walked from CentralWorld shopping complex to the Bangkok Arts and Culture Centre on Sunday to protest against the Yingluck Shinawatra administration, which they say is a puppet regime controlled by her brother, the fugitive former PM Thaksin. Shortly after the group left, government supporters wearing red masks and calling themselves ‘Ultra Red’ and ‘Daeng Sayiew’ held a counter-protest at Siam BTS station.

Hundreds of protesters from another anti-government group, who have been rallying at Sanam Luang, marched to Government House yesterday to show moral support for former National Security Council secretary-general Thawil Pliensri. Some of these people also wore white masks.

Deputy Premier Chalerm Yoobamrung yesterday dismissed the white-mask activists as yellow-shirt people with a new symbol for campaigning.

“They are yellow shirts in disguise. They look familiar to me as they look similar to those in photos taken by the Special Branch police,” Chalerm said.

He said the government did not know the identity of the leaders of the new white-mask group yet, as these people dared not come out.

Chalerm claimed he did not know who organised the campaigns by the red-mask people, which were held to counter rallies of the white-mask group.

He said he had nothing to do with the red-shirt people or the red-mask group. He added that he did not rely on information from the Special Branch Police and the National Security Council because he had his own intelligence officers.

Chalerm also dismissed the Thai Spring group of Kaewsan Atibodhi, a former Assets Examination Committee member, and former senior police officer Vasit Dejkunjorn, as a group of “people with nothing to do”.

Kaewsan and Vasit formed the Thai Spring fan page for people who disagreed with the speech PM Yingluck Shinawatra made in Mongolia, to unite and express their disagreement.

Deputy government spokesman Sunisa Lertpakawat said the mask protests from various groups reflected diversity in society.

However, she said the current movements reflected fighting between two opposing groups: a democratic group that supports elected government and a group of “old power” people who did not want to lose power.

The latter group was used to oust former premier Thaksin and now comes in various new identities, including the Thai Spring and White Masks groups, and the protest at Sanam Luang, she said.

“These people don’t have any new issues (to protest) but to oust the Thaksin government and the Shinawatras. They don’t accept the truth.

“Fifteen million Thais liked the administration under Thaksin Shinawatra and voted for Yingluck Shinawatra and the Pheu Thai Party to be the government,” she said.

Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva yesterday advised Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to reinstate Thawil Pliensri as chief of the National Security Council, saying Thawil was the best person qualified for the job and the Central Administrative Court had ordered his reinstatement.

Abhisit explained that Thawil was the best candidate because he had developed his career at the agency and could continue with his job of trying to end the South insurgency. He said Yingluck should find another position for current NSC chief General Paradorn Pattanathabutr.

The Central Administrative Court ruled last week that transferring Thawil to an advisory position at the PM’s Office was unlawful and ordered the PM to reinstate him at the NSC as soon as possible.

A Government House source said Yingluck was planning to appeal the verdict and expects the case to take long enough for the verdict to coincide with Thawil’s retirement next year.

Abhisit said while Yingluck had the right to appeal against the ruling, it should not have been announced in a move to pressure Thawil out. If Yingluck went ahead with appealing the verdict, then Thawil also had the right to file a complaint against the PM with the National Anti-Corruption Commission.

Meanwhile, Deputy Premier Chalerm Yoobamrung yesterday warned Thawil against putting too much pressure on the government. He explained that it was normal practice for a new government to replace the NSC chief because it would find it difficult to trust a person appointed by the previous administration.

He also called on the media to not focus too much on Thawil’s case, adding that when Abhisit took over as PM, he had transferred then-NSC chief General Surapol Puenaiyaka, then-permanent secretary for Interior Ministry Pirapol Traithasawit and then-Bangkok city clerk Pongsak Semsan to advisory positions.

Chalerm said the PM’s Office and the Office of the Attorney-General were considering whether to appeal against Thawil’s ruling, though the final decision was with Yingluck. He said if it was up to him, he would certainly appeal against the ruling.

Chalerm added that since Paradorn was still the NSC chief, Thawil’s case would not affect the ongoing talks with insurgent groups in the South.

Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva’s political future is hanging in the balance after the Constitutional Court yesterday voted to review his MP status, following the controversial revocation of his Army rank.

The court voted 7-2 to review Abhisit’s MP status as requested by 134 Pheu Thai MPs. They allege that he was unqualified to become an MP in line with Article 106 (5) and Article 102 (6) of the Constitution after Defence Minister ACM Sukampol Suwannathat revoked Abhisit’s rank of Army captain.

If the Constitutional Court invokes the two articles and rules that Abhisit is unqualified to become an MP, he will not be able to stand as an MP in another election. Article 106 (5) states that the “membership of a member of the House of Representatives terminates upon being under any prohibition under Article 102.

Article 102 (6) states that an MP must not “have been expelled, dismissed or removed from official service, a state agency or a state enterprise on the grounds of dishonest performance of duties or corruption”.

The defence minister’s order to revoke Abhisit’s rank states that his behaviour “violated the morality, ethics and good tradition of commissioned military officers. The deed was dishonest and a severe violation of military disciplines so he should no longer be allowed to remained in military service. And the committee of the Defence Ministry considered and saw that he should be fired from the service for disciplinary violations”.

The Constitutional Court will be required to consider whether Abhisit committed wrongdoing as charged or not. If the court rules that Abhisit was fired from military service because of malfeasance, he faces disqualification from ever becoming an MP again.

Abhisit was given the rank of captain for having served as a teacher for the military pre-cadet school, but Sukampol alleges the Democrat leader dodged military conscription and used fake documents to apply for the post. He issued an order to fire Abhisit from military service as the pre-cadet school’s teacher retroactively to June 2, 1988. Abhisit was also ordered to return his military earnings.

Abhisit later filed a complaint with the Central Administration Court against the rank revocation, alleging Sukampol was abusing his authority to prosecute him. Constitutional Court chief spokesman Pimol Thampi-thakpong said the Court would send a subpoena to Abhisit, requesting him to send a written explanation to the court within 15 days.

The two judges who rejected the request were Nurak Mapraneet and Chat Chonlavorn. They reasoned that the rank revocation had not been finalised yet because Abhisit was still appealing against it in the Administrative Court.

In a related development, a group of activists who call themselves “Thais Who Love Peace” submitted a petition to Senate Speaker Nikom Waiyaratphanich, calling for Sukampol to be impeached.

The group’s leader, Kanchanee Wallayasewri, submitted signatures from 25,000 voters to back the impeachment petition. The petition alleges that Sukampol abused his authority and violated Article 270 of the Constitution after trying to damage the reputation of Abhisit with the rank revocation order.