Thailand’s Former Immigration Chief Files Case Against Prime Minister
Thailand’s former Immigration chief Pol Lt Gen Surachate Hakparn, on Tuesday filed a complaint against Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha in the Administrative Court for “unlawfully” transferring him in 2019.
Pol Lt Gen Surachate said there had been no formal probe against him by investigative agencies. He said neither the Public Prosecutor Commission; the National Anti-Corruption Commission; or the State Audit Office never investigated his transfer. The transfer was also against his will, the former Immigration police chief said.
The PM said he had asked his legal team to defend the case on his behalf.
More than 90 officials have been transferred to the Office of the Prime Minister. Around 80 have returned to their original posts and some of them will retire in October this year.
Pol Lt Gen Surachate, who goes by the nickname “Big Joke”, was the commander of the Immigration Police Bureau until last year. He was suddenly shunted out of law enforcement to the civilian position of adviser at the Prime Minister’s Office. Even more the reason for his sudden sudden removal was never explained.
He recently made the headlines again after a gunman fired at least seven shots at his parked car. He was in a nearby restaurant in Bangkok and was uninjured.
Some people, including police, suspected the shooting was stage managed. Pol Lt Gen Surachate profusely denied this. He said there was no reason to stage the shooting. Furthermore if he was be transferred back to the police also depended on the Prime Minister.
Deputy Police Chief Removed by Prime Minister
Meanwhile, on September 8th, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha also removed deputy police chief Pol Gen Wirachai Songmetta from his position. Less than a week after he was reinstated to the post. The announcement of the Prime Minister’s Office said His Majesty the King had approved the removal of Pol Gen Wirachai from the deputy police chief post at the request of the Secretariat of the Cabinet due to his serious disciplinary violations.
It remains unclear why the announcement was made public on one week after Gen Prayut put pen to paper. No details were given on the offences he had allegedly committed.
In January, Thailand’s deputy police chief was moved to an inactive post at the Prime Minister’s Office for defying an order from national police chief Chakthip Chaijinda. Gen Prayut, who oversees the Royal Thai Police Office, reinstated Pol Gen Wirachai to the deputy police chief position on July 24.