Apirat 'insulted' by Sereepisuth's remark about his decorations

Apirat 'insulted' by Sereepisuth's remark about his decorations

Army chief Apirat Kongsompong has brought defamation charges against former police chief-turned-politician Sereepisuth Temeeyaves for comments he made about his military decorations.

Gen Apirat, as secretary-general of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), on Tuesday assigned staff to file the complaint against Pol Gen Sereepisuth, leader of the Seri Ruam Thai Party.

Pol Gen Sereepisuth allegedly made improper comments about the military decorations on Gen Apirat’s uniform during a recent exclusive interview with a newspaper, Thai media reported. The army chief found Pol Gen Sereepisuth’s remarks defamatory and insulting.

As a former high-ranking police officer, Pol Gen Sereepisuth should have a better understanding of the meaning of military decorations and their origins, particularly royally-bestowed ones, a source said.

Pol Gen Apirat also directed the NCPO legal team to file a complaint against Pol Gen Sereepisuth for alleged violation of the computer crime law by posting the remarks made during the interview on his Facebook page.  

The legal team was also asked to file a third complaint, this time for allegedly defaming a soldier assigned to "observe and ensure his safety" while Pol Gen Sereepisuth was campaigning in support of the party's candidate in Prachin Buri’s Muang district on March 4.

The photo and video clips given to the media by Pol Gen Sereepisuth's party showed an unarmed soldier on the street nearby while the party leaders were walking and chatting with voters. 

"It's not their responsibility," Pol Gen Sereepisuth said. Military "commanders should be acting to protect the country, not concerning themselves with people".

Pol Gen Sereepisuth Temiyavej, leader of the Seri Ruam Thai Party, questions a soldier who was following him in Prachin Buri. (Clip taken from @Sereepisutht Facebook page)

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