People’s Alliance for Democracy leader Sondhi Limthongkul believes some people in the Department of Special Investigation and soldiers set up the team to assassinate him with the mastermind being someone who lives abroad.
People’s Alliance for Democracy, or PAD, leader Sondhi Limthongkul said the mastermind and moneybag of his assassination attempt is someone who lives abroad, with some people in the Department of Special Investigation, or DSI, and the military hiring the assassination team, which is made up of three soldiers and one policeman.
He said most of the soldiers involved in the plot are from the Special Warfare Unit in Lop Buri and they want to silence him for his efforts to expose corruption.
Sondhi said he has forgiven those who tried to kill him despite the fact that they have not been apprehended. He noted no arrests in this case would signify that Thais are living in a lawless land and any civilians or even the Prime Minister can be assassinated easily.
He said there have been efforts to send in military officers in the ranks of general and colonel to meet with him and sway him from the identity of the real mastermind.
Sondhi said whether national police chief Police General Patcharawat Wongsuwan will be dismissed from his post is not important but inaction against him will show Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s lack of leadership as the removal of the police chief is long overdue.
The PAD leader said he is eagerly anticipating the PM’s press conference on his case this Friday and would like to pose questions to the PM. He also called on Deputy PM Suthep Thaugsuban to be present as well.
Sondhi said he is confident in the chief investigator of his case, deputy national police chief Police General Thani Sombunsap. He said if Thani succeeds in solving his case, the National Police Office has to thank Thani for helping restore police’s reputation.
Sondhi says PM caught in political deal
Leaders of the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) condemned Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva yesterday for “lack of decisiveness” and failing to remove “human obstacles” allegedly hindering the police probe into the assassination attempt on PAD core leader Sondhi Limthongkul.
Sondhi said the prime minister might opt not to transfer national police chief General Patcharawat Wongsuwan as part of a compromise with certain military figures or some other reason.
“But Abhisit’s political future will depend on his decision. The fact that he opted for a transfer and later changed his mind indicates he is not a true leader,” Sondhi said.
The PAD leader claimed that one of the conditions when the Democrats formed its coalition government with a faction from the disbanded People Power Party was that the national police chief retained his job.
“That’s why Abhisit does not dare to take any action against Patcharawat. He acts like a boy and has no state of leadership. I don’t want to have a prime minister who speaks politely and runs the country with his rhetoric but is not brave enough to make decisions,” Sondhi said.
PAD coordinator Suriyasai Katasila said the group feared the investigation into the case would be prolonged and that the masterminds would not be arrested.
He said Police General Thanee Somboonsap, the chief investigator, had gone “in the right direction” but the probe had “hit some snags”.
“We expect the prime minister to deal with those snags but so far he has done nothing about it,” Suriyasai said.
Pipob Dhongchai, another PAD core leader, said the prime minister was part of the justice system and thus had to ensure justice would prevail.
He called on Abhisit to consider whether Patcharawat and Deputy Premier Suthep Thaugsuban should remain in office and whether they had obstructed the inquiry.
“By the custom, when a national police chief is under investigation for many cases, he gets dismissed or transferred. It is not that the PAD is making any call or demand but that the prime minister must take whatever action he should do,” he said.
Sondhi, speaking at the PAD’s head office at Baan Phra Athit, said the person who funded the attempt on his life was “living overseas”.
He said a total of 14 people – 13 soldiers and one police officer – were involved. All the soldiers were from the Special Warfare Command in Lop Buri province.
Sondhi claimed his home and mobile phones were tapped by a police officer at the Department of Special Investigation.
“It’s a coordination between DSI and the military. The person who paid for it is living overseas. I am dangerous for them,” he said.
“Someone like me became a target, and persons like Abhisit Vejjajiva or someone higher than him could also be targeted for assassination,” Sondhi added.
By Watthana Khamchoo
Published on July 30, 2009
Sondhi calls on PM to sack Patcharawat
PM accused of being ‘weak and immature’
Sondhi Limthongkul has taken Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to task for failing to dismiss national police chief Patcharawat Wongsuwon.
Mr Sondhi’s People’s Alliance for Democracy blames Pol Gen Patcharawat for the slow progress in the investigation into the attempted murder of Mr Sondhi on April 17.
Mr Sondhi yesterday told reporters that if the police could not arrest a suspect in the attempted murder of a person of his profile, the nation might be in trouble.
He said Mr Abhisit and other people in important positions could also become assassination targets.
The PAD leader criticised Mr Abhisit for lacking the maturity of a leader by failing to remove Pol Gen Patcharawat as police chief.
If the prime minister decided not to transfer Pol Gen Patcharawat to strike a compromise with the military and political groups, the decision would probably backfire on his future, Mr Sondhi said.
“Mr Abhisit acts like a child who has no leadership at all,” he said.
Mr Sondhi also questioned why Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban, who supervises national security, did not support the removal of Pol Gen Patcharawat.
He said Mr Suthep knew well that police had remained idle while red shirt demonstrators stormed the venue of the the Asean summit in Pattaya in April, forcing its postponement.
Mr Sondhi said the team assigned to kill him in Bangkok consisted of 13 officers from the special operations unit Task Force 90 in Lop Buri and one policeman.
The murder attempt was a collaboration between the military and the Department of Special Investigation, he alleged.
PAD coordinator Suriyasai Katasila said his group feared the Sondhi case was being deliberately delayed while scapegoats were being sought.
The alliance believed the investigation was being manipulated.
He said the PAD had hoped Mr Abhisit would help remove obstacles in the investigation.
But it could well turn out Mr Suthep himself was the obstacle, he said.
PAD spokesman Panthep Puapongpan yesterday also urged the government to put up a fight against Cambodia’s attempt to claim petroleum deposits worth 4trillion baht in the Gulf of Thailand near Koh Kud in Trat province.
He said Cambodia based its claim on a map attached to a joint communique signed by convicted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra with Phnom Penh on June 19, 2001.
The PAD found that instead of the entire deposits belonging to Thailand, they have now become part of an overlapping territory which Cambodia could claim.
Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya yesterday defended Mr Suthep’s role in the Thai-Cambodian Joint Technical Committee on Maritime.
He said Mr Suthep had what it takes to defend the national interest.
DSI denies tapping Sondhi’s phone
The Department of Special Investigation had no involvement in wiretapping Sondhi Limthongkul, co-leader of the People’s Alliance for Democracy, its deputy director general Colonel Narat Sawetanant said on Thursday.
“It is not possibile for DSI to be involved in the assassination attempt and the wiretap against Sondhi,” Narat said.
He was reacting to Sondhi’s remarks alleging that certain DSI officials were among the gunmen trying to kill him in April and that DSI was involved in tapping his telephone ahead of the shooting.
He said there was a strict checking mechanism to monitor the DSI work.
One of the two suspects in the case, Corporal Worawut Mungsanti worked as an undercover agent for the Police Drug Suppression Bureau but was seconded to the DSI at the time of the incident.