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Sacked Surachate sues the PM

PHOTOS: Thai Rath

The former deputy national police chief says he plans to sue the PM over his sacking from the police service.

Surachate Hakparn says the Police Commission chaired by PM Srettha Thavisin did not consider his case fairly in reaching its unanimous decision. He says that along with suing the PM, he plans to sue the 11 other members of the commission following Wednesday’s vote.

Surachate has called into question the legality of the vote, asking why the PM didn’t submit it for His Majesty the King’s approval.

The sacked officer’s complaint is being reviewed by the Police Merit Systems Protection Board and Surachate says if that ruling doesn’t go in his favour, he will take his complaint to the Administrative Court.

In April, acting police chief Kitrat Phanphet signed an order for Surachate’s dismissal pending the result of an investigation into his alleged involvement in money laundering in connection with an online gambling network.

Surachate has always denied the allegations, claiming they are part of a campaign against him given that he was the obvious frontrunner to succeed Torsak Sukvimol, who will retire from the role of national police chief at the end of September.

There has been no love lost between groups loyal to both men, with the conflict worsening last year when Torsak was given the top job despite having the least seniority of all the candidates.

In March, with the feud becoming a matter of public discussion, PM Srettha Thavisin decided to sideline both men to inactive posts pending the result of an investigation. Last week, that investigation found there has been conflict within the police force for some time, but referred allegations of wrongdoing to other bodies for investigation.

In reporting its findings, it recommended that Torsak be given his job back and also found that Surachate had been “unfairly dismissed from duty pending investigation”, according to a Bangkok Post report.

Meanwhile, the PM insists the decision taken by the Police Commission was lawful and says he expects the Police Merit Systems Protection Board to decide Surachat’s case within 30 days. He says this is why he decided not to forward the dismissal order for the approval of His Majesty the King.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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