Surachate's appointment to police panel reversed amid pressure

Surachate's appointment to police panel reversed amid pressure

Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwon, centre, emerges from a meeting of the Police Commission on Wednesday with national police chief Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda, third from right, and Pol Gen Wirachai Songmetta, deputy national police chief, left. (Photo by Wassana Nanuam)
Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwon, centre, emerges from a meeting of the Police Commission on Wednesday with national police chief Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda, third from right, and Pol Gen Wirachai Songmetta, deputy national police chief, left. (Photo by Wassana Nanuam)

The Police Commission has resolved to remove sacked immigration chief Surachate Hakparn from a police sub-committee following mounting pressure.

Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwon on Wednesday chaired a meeting of the commission to consider the appointment of Pol Lt Gen Surachate, nicknamed "Big Joke'', to the police sub-committee responsible for laws and regulations.

National police chief Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda, his deputy Pol Gen Wirachai Songmetta and representatives from concerned agencies attended the meeting, which lasted about 40 minutes.

Pol Lt Gen Surachate was in April abruptly transferred from the police force to the civil service to work as a special adviser at the Prime Minister's Office. The transfer was made under a National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) Section 44 order to clear the way for an investigation. 

Speaking after the meeting, Pol Gen Wirachai said changes to five out of a total of 7 police sub-committees were considered during the meeting.

The meeting resolved to remove Pol Lt Gen Surachate’s name from the police panel responsible for laws and regulations. Pol Col Mana Phochuay, deputy commander of the Metropolitan Police Division 8, was asked to fill the slot due to his knowledge in legal affairs, and he accepted the job, said Pol Gen Wirachai.

The deputy police chief said the change was made over concerns about suitability for the position, and Pol Lt Gen Surachate, who was earlier transferred to the Prime Minister’s Office, would find it inconvenient to attend meetings.

Pol Gen Wirachai defended the commission’s decision, saying the change was made for work efficiency.

He was responding to a media question that the removal of Pol Lt Gen Surachate’s name from the police panel would close the door for his return to the police force.

Earlier, Gen Prawit confirmed the sacked immigration chief had been appointed to a Police Commission panel. He said a person from outside the police force could be a member of the police panel and the appointment of outsiders was within the authority of the Police Commission.


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