Court issues arrest warrant for ex-DSI chief
Judges say Tarit Pengdith is deliberately stalling appearance to hear ruling in malfeasance case against him
published : 2 Feb 2023 at 19:50
writer: Wassayos Ngamkham
The Supreme Court on Thursday issued an arrest warrant for Tarit Pengdith, the former head of the Department of Special Investigation (DSI), believing he intended to tactically delay court proceedings in a malfeasance case brought against him and three other parties.
The case has been lodged against the four by former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and former deputy prime minister Suthep Thaugsuban. The latter oversaw the now-defunct Centre for Resolution of Emergency Situation during anti-government protests in 2010 that led to political mayhem and violence.
Mr Abhisit and Mr Suthep accused the four parties of malfeasance for unfairly pushing to press murder charges against them in connection with their handling of the 2010 violence.
The court found Mr Tarit’s new request to once again defer hearing the ruling, his seventh so far in the same case, unconvincing and didn’t approve it.
The court instead set March 24 for handing down the ruling and ordered Mr Tarit to be detained and brought to hear the ruling on that date.
Mr Tarit had his lawyer submit documentation claiming he was due to have a ureteroscopy, a procedure to address kidney stones, at Siriraj Piyamaharajkarun Hospital on Jan 29 and would have to stay in the hospital for three months afterward.
The court found that the documentation failed to specify the urgency of the procedure and no part of it said a three-month hospital stay was required afterward.
A lower court originally dismissed the malfeasance case which prompted the plaintiffs to appeal. The Court of Appeal then reversed the lower court’s ruling, sentencing the four to two years each.
The other three defendants are Pol Lt Col Wannaphong Khotcharak, head of the investigation team looking into the murder allegations; Pol Maj Yutthana Phraedam, an investigator; and Pol Capt Piya Raksakun, another police investigator.
All four defendants have pleaded not guilty.