Sombat to quit Thammasat

Lecturer Sombat Chanthornwong will resign from Thammasat University to defend his innocence over the frozen asset case involving the former permanent secretary for defence.

  • Published: 28/02/2013 at 05:39 PM
  • Newspaper section: breakingnews

The political science lecturer said he would hand his resignation to the university rector on Wednesday and the decision will take effect on April 1.

Mr Sombat said the decision was to show responsibility for his involvement in the unusually rich case of Gen Sathien Permthong-in and three others including himself.

He vowed to turn his back on an academic career but will retain his academic status as a professor.

Thammasat University lecturer Sombat Chanthornwong testifies at the National Anti-Corruption Commission on Friday on the frozen assets of former permanent secretary for defence Gen Sathien Permthong-in. (Photo by Tawatchai Kemgumnerd)

The decision came after the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) declared on Tuesday it would freeze the assets held by the four worth 65 million baht after suspecting the retired defence general was unusually wealthy.

The academic showed evidence including four passbooks from three banks to prove his innocence to the anti-graft agency on Thursday, saying that the money belonged to Gen Sathien's wife, Mrs Natthanicha.

He said she had asked him to temporarily hold the money last year when Mrs Natthanicha had family problems. She then took the money from him to buy a land plot and sell it at 27 million baht. The profit was returned to him and he put the money in Thammasat's savings Cooperative before starting to return it to the family.

The NACC included Mr Sombat in the case a "nominee".

Mr Sombat urged the NACC to take the case to the limit so that he would know whether he was fooled by the family.

The lecturer was linked to the Permthong-ins eight years ago when Mrs Natthanicha studied for a master's degree at Krik University eight years ago. He knew their adopted daughter, Miss Nichapat, when she pursued a master's degree at Thammasat and he was her advisor on her doctorate.

The NACC gave Gen Sathien 30 days from Feb 26 to defend the case.

It has forwarded it to the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Postions.

About the author

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Writer: King-oua Laohong
Position: Reporter

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