Warrant for Plodprasop's arrest

Warrant for Plodprasop's arrest

former deputy prime minister Plodprasop Suraswadi
former deputy prime minister Plodprasop Suraswadi

An arrest warrant has been issued for former deputy prime minister Plodprasop Suraswadi, after he failed to show up at the Supreme Court to hear the court strike down his appeal against a two-year prison sentence for abuse of power.

In 2018, the Appeal Court overruled a one-year suspended sentenced handed to Plodprasop by the Central Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases, arguing his actions constituted a "severe offence" which caused damage to the state administration.

Plodprasop, while serving as permanent secretary for the environment, was found guilty of violating Section 157 and Section 84 of Criminal Code for cancelling the promotion of senior official Vitoon Chalayonnawin to economic forest promotion director and influencing Damrong Pidech, then chief of the Royal Forest Department, to have Mr Vitoon demoted to a lower ranking post in 2003.

Mr Vitoon was eventually transferred to work as a provincial forestry official in the northeastern province of Amnat Charoen.

The court then handed the former deputy prime minister a two-year jail term without suspension, and awarded the plaintiff, Vitoon Chalayonnawin, 1.4 million baht in compensation.

The plaintiff brought the case to the court, believing his demotion resulted from personal conflicts between him and Plodprasop.

Their quarrel dated back to 1998 when Plodprasop, who then supervised the Royal Forest Department, launched a disciplinary probe into Mr Vitoon's behaviour, allegedly without giving him a chance to defend himself.

Plodprasop had his representatives ask the court to postpone its ruling, citing his ill heath. However, the court rejected his request and issued a warrant for his arrest. The judges are set to rule on the case on April 7.

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