DSI sends new summons to Phra Dhammajayo

DSI sends new summons to Phra Dhammajayo

A screen shot of Phra Dhammajayo, the abbot of Wat Dhammakaya.
A screen shot of Phra Dhammajayo, the abbot of Wat Dhammakaya.

The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) delivered a third summons to Phra Dhammajayo on Wednesday after an attempt to get a court warrant for his arrest failed.

The new summons was sent to the abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya in Khlong Luang district in Pathum Thani on Wednesday. It sets a new date next month for the monk to appear at the DSI office to hear embezzlement and money-laundering charges in connection with the financial scandal at Khlongchan Credit Union Cooperative.

DSI director-general Paisit Wongmuang said the agency will wait for the monk to show up at 9am on May 16, as stated in the summons.

Phra Dhammajayo has twice postponed his scheduled meetings with the investigators, most recently on Monday this week, citing temple business and illness which made him unable to travel to the DSI office at Chaeng Wattana.

Phra Sanitwong Wutthiwaso, director of the temple's communications office, on Tuesday showed reporters photos of what he said was the monk's swollen left leg. The monk's face was not included in the photo.

Phra Sanitwong said the temple was open for the DSI to make a visit, and they could take along doctors to confirm the abbot's ailment.

Justice Minister Gen Paiboon Koomchaya on Wednesday rejected the invitation, saying there was no need for the investigators to check his health with their own eyes.

Phra Dhammajayo is charged by the DSI with conspiring and collaborating to launder money and collaborating to accept stolen goods in February this year.

The charges were filed against him after Supachai Srisupa-aksorn, former chairman of the credit union cooperative, was arrested in 2015 on charges of embezzlement and money laundering after he siphoned off 11 billion baht in funds. Some 900 million baht of the embezzled funds was donated to the temple abbot.

Phra Dhammajayo has denied any wrongdoing, through his lawyer and other monks.

Last month, the Criminal Court sentenced Supachai to 16 years in jail.

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