Police officer ends move against NCPO-ordered shake-up

Police officer ends move against NCPO-ordered shake-up

Pol Col Pornpat Petchpayaban reads out a statement explaining his decision to resign as chairman of the Confederation of Police Inquiry Officers at the Bang Pu police station on Saturday. (Photo by Sutthiwit Chayutvorakan)
Pol Col Pornpat Petchpayaban reads out a statement explaining his decision to resign as chairman of the Confederation of Police Inquiry Officers at the Bang Pu police station on Saturday. (Photo by Sutthiwit Chayutvorakan)

SAMUT PRAKAN — A police officer has resigned from a panel representing interrogators after criticising a government order to scrap the interrogation position.

However, his superiors say Pol Col Pornpat Petchpayaban will not be disciplined because they believe the original media reports of his views were not accurate.

The move came one day after another policeman opposed to the NCPO-ordered reorganisation, Jan Chaisawasdi, was found dead at his house in what appeared to have been a suicide.

Pol Col Pornpat was chairman of the Confederation of Police Inquiry Officers before he decided to step down on Saturday. Pol Lt Col Jan was the group's secretary-general.

"I have decided to end my role as chairman of the Confederation of Police Inquiry Officers from today. I would like to apologise to my superiors and police colleagues as I had no intention whatsoever to damage the reputation of the Royal Thai Police Office," Pol Col Pornpat said, reading from a statement at the Bang Pu police station, where he is a senior interrogator.

The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) on Feb 5 issued the order that ends the position of police inquiry officers. They will instead become deputy inspectors or commanders, effective from Feb 20.

Pol Col Pornpat was quoted by Thai Post newspaper on Feb 7 as saying that the order, signed by NCPO chairman and Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, would move the police backward "20 years".

"About the order of the prime minister, I felt that he did not listen to all stakeholders before making the decision," he was quoted as saying. "I felt that the prime minister listened only to those close to him. At the same time, there are many phu yai who don't like interrogation officers."

The interview landed him trouble and the Samut Prakan police set up a disciplinary panel on Thursday to look into his comments.

However, Pol Col Wasant Booncharoen, a provincial police deputy commander who chaired the panel, said the officer would not be punished because the panel found the report of his interview was inaccurate.

In a petition to the prime minister on Monday, Pol Lt Col Jan had said that the NCPO-ordered reorganisation would block 2,900 police interrogators nationwide from career advancement. About 700 officers at the advisory level would lose their monthly rank allowances of 20,800 baht each.

Four days later the senior interrogator at the Thian Thalae police station was found dead at his house in Bang Bon district. His body was sent for an autopsy at Siriraj Hospital.

Pol Maj Gen Jirapat Phoomvijit, commander of Division 9 of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, said doctors had identified suffocation as the cause of death. There was no evidence that he had been attacked.

Acting MTB chief Pol Lt Gen Sanit Mahathaworn said the family of the dead officer had no questions about his death but investigators were still looking into the motive behind the suicide.

His family took the officer's body from the hospital to Wat Nang Ratworavihara in Jomthong district for a religious ceremony on Saturday.


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