The Supreme Court yesterday issued an arrest warrant for former Department of Special Investigation (DSI) director-general Tarit Pengdit, 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, who was also in charge of the now-defunct Centre for Resolution of the Emergency Situation when handling anti-government protests in 2010, which led to political mayhem and violence.
Mr Abhisit and Mr Suthep accused the four parties of malfeasance over their roles in 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, the seventh of his so far in the same case, unconvincing and didn't approve it. The court instead set March 24 for handing down the ruling and consequently ordered police to detain Mr Tarit and bring him 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 more months afterwards.
The court found that the supplied documentation failed to specify the urgency for Mr Tarit to undergo the operation on Jan 29, and no part of it said he would really have to stay in the hospital throughout the claimed post-surgery three-month recovery period.
Previously, the lower court dismissed the malfeasance case, which prompted the plaintiffs to appeal, and the Appeal Court 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 probing the 2010 mass murder case; Pol Maj Yutthana Phraedam, an investigator; and Pol Capt Piya Raksakun, another police investigator. All these four defendants have pleaded not guilty.