Surayud denies he was key plotter of 2006 coup

surayud

“It is insensible that I discussed plotting a coup with judges. I would be more sensible if I discussed it with military commanders,” he said.

Former prime minister Surayud Chulanont Saturday rejected the allegation by ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra that he was a key plotter of the 2006 coup.

Surayud said he did meet certain senior judges a few months before the coup but that he merely wanted to hear their views about the country’s political situation at that time.

“It is insensible that I discussed plotting a coup with judges. I would be more sensible if I discussed it with military commanders,” he said.

The Nation

Surayud rejects plot claim

Former prime minister Surayud Chulanont yesterday rejected an allegation by ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra that he had been a key plotter in the 2006 coup.

Surayud said he had met certain senior judges a few months before the coup but had merely wanted to hear their views about the country’s political situation at the time.

He added that the judiciary had then been expected to help ease the country’s problems.

“It would have been stupid of me to discuss plotting a coup with judges. I would have been better off discussing it with military commanders,” he said.

Surayud, a privy councillor, said most of Thaksin’s allegations against him “were not based on fact”. He said he had presented his side of the story and it was up to the public whether to believe him or Thaksin.

Surayud, former Army commander-in-chief and armed-forces supreme commander, said he would not sue Thaksin.

“I am not angry with him. I realise he is having problems. I just want the public to weigh the facts and decide who to believe,” he told a press conference at Suvarnabhumi Airport on his return from Chiang Mai.

Thaksin, in a speech on Friday night, accused Surayud and Privy Council president Prem Tinsulanonda of masterminding the coup on September 19, 2006, that overthrew his government. Thaksin’s speech was broadcast to a gathering of his supporters outside Government House.

The ousted premier called on the two royal advisers to “stop interfering in politics” in order to avoid any negative impact on His Majesty the King.

Prem made no reaction to Thaksin’s allegation that publicly named him as the “extra-constitutional influential person” who had tried to interfere in government affairs.

A close aide to His Majesty the King’s chief adviser said yesterday that he believed Prem had not responded because what Thaksin said was untrue.

Vice Admiral Pachun Tampratheep, private secretary to Prem, said the Privy Council president disregarded Thaksin’s accusations.

“General Prem has remained calm and composed over the situation. He will not compromise with the truth,” he said.

By THE NATION ON SUNDAY
Published on March 29, 2009

Piya Malakul, the dinner host, said there was no talk of coup

pee_malakul

 Piya Malakul, who hosted a dinner at his Sukhumvit residence on May 6, 2006, for a group of high-ranking friends has come out to defend Gen Surayud Chullanont, the former premier. It was just “a dinner among friends.”

It wasn’t, as alleged by former Premier Thaksin Shinawatra, a “secret meeting to plot the Sept 19, 2006 coup.” Piya said.

Piya told Matichon Online that he had hosted the dinner after His Majesty the King had on April 25, the same year, urged the judges of the Administrative Court and Supreme Court seeking an audience, to find a solution to the country’s political crisis at the time.

“I only wanted to hear what the country’s top judges who happened to be my friends had to say about the situation,” Piya, who owns a media company, said.

He first invited Mr Akrathorn Chullarat, President of  the Administrative Court, and Mr Chanchai Likhitchitta, President of the Supreme Court, to the dinner.

“I had known Mr Akrathorn since we were both boys,” Piya said.

He then called up Gen Surayud and Mr Pramote Nakhonthap, an academic, to invite them to join the dinner.

Mr Charan Pakdithanakul, then secretary general of the Supreme Court’s President and currently a member of the Constitutional Court, also joined the dinner.

“That function took place many years ago. I don’t think we could even remember the exact date.  I am 72 now. I couldn’t remember the details. When I was asked to provide the detail, I had to look my my secretary’s note because we ordered Japanese food from Dusit Thani Hotel,” he said.

Piya added: “I canconfirm that there was no talk of a coup or about who was going to get what position. There was not a single military officer there. How could we discuss a coup?”

And, to top it all off, Piya said: “In fact, Khun Thaksin and Khunying Pojaman had also been to my house before. Before he was premier, he used to come to this house several times because we were close to each other. When he was premier, he didn’t come here. Perhaps, he was too busy. After the coup and after he came back to Thailand, he was here twice. Khunying Pojama was here once…”

Now, Thaksin will have to prove that a coup plot was really hatched over dinner that evening. 

Thai Talk 

 

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