PM dismisses Patcharawat ‘retroactively’

3-patcharawat

Former national police chief Patcharawat Wongsuwon is to be officially dismissed from service over the police mishandling of the crackdown on anti-government protesters at parliament on Oct 7 last year, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva says.

Mr Abhisit yesterday said his decision to dismiss Pol Gen Patcharawat was retroactive.

Pol Gen Patcharawat submitted his resignation as police chief last month after Mr Abhisit signed an order transferring him to temporary duty at the Prime Minister’s Office in the wake of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) ruling to file criminal charges against him.

His resignation was not accepted and he retired as scheduled on Sept 30, the end of the civil service year.

Last month, the NACC ruled it had found Pol Gen Patcharawat and the former head of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, Suchart Muankaew, to have committed criminal offences in connection with the police crackdown on People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) protesters. Two people were killed in the police action and many were injured.

The anti-graft agency also ruled then prime minister Somchai Wongsawat and then deputy prime minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh should face criminal charges over the incident.

Mr Abhisit said his decision came after the Council of State, the Prime Minister’s Office, the Office of the Police Commission and the Office of the Civil Service Commission agreed unanimously to dismiss Pol Gen Patcharawat for ordering the use of force to disperse the protesters.

Mr Abhisit said he understood the dismissal of Gen Patcharawat should take effect retroactively as the law states it must come within 30 days of the NACC’s ruling.

But the prime minister said the exact date of the dismissal order would be determined later as he had yet to look at all the legal implications.

He said it depended on the Office of the Police Commission whether the resolution could be applied in the case of Pol Lt Gen Suchart.

Also yesterday, police commissioners Purachai Piumsombun and Pol Gen Pichit Kuandachakupt walked out of a meeting at the Royal Thai Police Headquarters over conflicting opinions on the force’s annual reshuffle.

They disagreed with the meeting going ahead before the new national police chief had been appointed.

Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban called the meeting of 18 police commissioners yesterday.

The remaining 16 commissioners resolved to transfer 1,560 senior police by Nov 20 without waiting for the approval of the new police chief.

Acting national police chief Pateep Tanprasert also proposed six more people be appointed to the commission to consider the transfers to maintain fairness and transparency.

Bangkok Post

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