BANGKOK – Police are preparing to issue a second summons for Pol Col Chairit Anurit on Friday after he failed to present himself and acknowledge charges for allegedly helping former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra escape justice.
Pol Col Chairit was scheduled to meet Pathumwan police under a summons yesterday, but had not shown up as of press time last night.
If he refuses to answer further summonses police cannot help “but comply with the law and arrest him under a warrant”, deputy Metropolitan Police Bureau chief Pol Maj Gen Phakkhaphong Phongphetra said.
Pol Col Chairit has already been suspended from duty as deputy chief of Metropolitan Police Division 5.
Asked if Pol Col Chairit may have fled broad, Pol Maj Gen Phakkhaphong said it was too soon to say whether he is on the run.
A summons does not bar a suspect from travelling domestically or abroad, but he is bound to report to police, Pol Maj Gen Phakkhaphong said.
Police investigators have already charged Pol Col Chairit with violating Section 157 of the Criminal Code for allegedly helping Yingluck flee to the border province of Sa Kaeo shortly before the court was originally scheduled to pass judgement on Yingluck on Aug 25. Section 157 concerns malfeasance or dereliction of duty committed by state officials.
He is believed to have driven Yingluck and her secretary from Bangkok to Sa Kaeo, which borders Cambodia, in a Toyota Camry. From there, Yingluck and her secretary reportedly travelled into Cambodia in a dark coloured pickup truck.
The former premier is suspected of having flown to the United Kingdom to seek political asylum.
Her current whereabouts are still unknown, though “police are contacting Interpol every five days” to check on progress in locating her in order to bring her back to face justice, deputy national police chief Pol Gen Srivara Ransibrahmanakul, said yesterday, insisting her case has nothing to do with politics.
The Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions finally handed down its verdict on Sept 27, sentencing Yingluck to five years in prison for failing to prevent corruption and irregularities in her rice-pleading scheme.
Police investigating Yingluck’s escape have so far implicated three officers in the plot. As well as Pol Col Chairit, two police officers in Nakhon Pathom — Pol Lt Col Samitr Chaiya-uenkham and Pol Snr Sgt Maj Pronpipat Makboonngam — are suspected of involvement.
The officers were also summoned yesterday to acknowledge a charge of violating the Customs Act, Pol Maj Gen Phakkhaphong said.