Move Forward MP threatens to sue over case flaws

Move Forward MP threatens to sue over case flaws

Rangsiman Rome reports to police, temporarily walks free after learning defamation charge is 'incomplete'

Move Forward Party MP Rangsiman Rome flashes a three-finger symbol after arriving at Bang Khun Non police station on Friday to answer a defamation charge arising from statements he is alleged to have made two years ago. (Photo: Move Forward Party)
Move Forward Party MP Rangsiman Rome flashes a three-finger symbol after arriving at Bang Khun Non police station on Friday to answer a defamation charge arising from statements he is alleged to have made two years ago. (Photo: Move Forward Party)

Move Forward Party MP Rangsiman Rome is threatening to take legal action against authorities after he reported to police on Friday, only to be told that the charge against him was not yet complete.

The outspoken lawmaker is facing a defamation charge arising from remarks he is alleged to have made two years ago about Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon.

The deputy secretary-general of the opposition party said he was considering a countersuit against authorities working on the case.

“If authorities continue to use the legal process to issue summonses and arrest warrants, I am considering legal action against them for abuse of authority,” he said on the party social media platforms.

He did not say whether the police could be a target of legal action.

Mr Rangsiman, accompanied by Move Forward leader Pita Limjaroenrat, reported to police at the Bang Khun Non station in response to an arrest warrant that had been issued against him earlier.

He then was taken by police to the office of the public prosecutor in Taling Chang district but prosecutors rejected the police report used to support the case on grounds that it was not complete. Another meeting with prosecutors was set for March 31.

The Five Provinces Bordering Forest Preservation Foundation filed a defamation complaint against Mr Rangsiman after he said it was at the heart of the network set up by Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, its chairman, for political wheeling and dealing.

The foundation was established by the Army in 2006 to conserve vast tracts of forest that span the southeastern provinces of Chachoengsao, Sa Kaeo, Chon Buri, Rayong and Chanthaburi. Gen Prawit uses its headquarters regularly as a venue to meet with political colleagues.

Mr Rangsiman made the allegation in parliament on Feb 27, 2020.

He questioned why police had taken two years to take action against him. He suspected the timing was linked to explosive comments he made last month in Parliament about human trafficking, based on testimony of a police investigator who fled the country in fear for his safety.

As the deputy premier in charge of national security, Gen Prawit is in charge of combatting human trafficking in the government.

Police had issued two summonses for the Move Forward MP before the arrest warrant but Mr Rangsiman refused to answer them, saying he had no intention to flee.

He was allowed to leave on Friday after meeting with police and his MP status was not jeopardised as he was not detained.

The party suspects the move against the 29-year-old parliamentarian is an attempt to silence him by taking legal action that could result in him being stripped of his MP status.

Mr Pita said what had happened to his colleague would not deter Move Forward from continuing to monitor the work of the government.


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