Cops 'did best' to find 'Rambo Isan'

Cops 'did best' to find 'Rambo Isan'

Despite rumours, police are not at odds with prosecutors over a failure to bring former red-shirt co-leader Suporn Atthawong to hear his indictment for taking part in leading a raid on the 2009 Asean Summit in Pattaya, according to deputy national police chief Srivara Ransibrahmanakul.

Pol Gen Srivara insisted that both police and prosecutors did their best to try and catch Mr Suporn, widely known as "Rambo Isan", despite a report that Mr Suporn, who ran as a candidate for the pro-regime Palang Pracharath Party in Nakhon Ratchasima in the March 24 election was spotted on the campaign trail.

Pol Gen Srivara clarified the issue yesterday after critics questioned why the authorities could not bring Mr Suporn to justice before the statute of limitations in his case expired on April 11.

Police and Pattaya provincial prosecutors had worked on the prosecution process until April 3 when the officers were asked to search for Mr Suporn, who missed an appointment with prosecutors to formally hear his indictment. On April 4, an arrest warrant was issued for Mr Suporn.

Pol Gen Srivara said the police were only given seven days -- from April 4 until the expiry of the statute of limitations -- to bring Mr Suporn in for an indictment hearing.

It was reported that Mr Suporn was seen openly canvassing in Nakhon Ratchasima and this raised doubts over why the police did not catch him, according to critics.

"If anyone has evidence that the police officers neglected their duty, they can file a legal complaint against them," Pol Gen Srivara said.

Mr Suporn requested three delays on his indictment hearing, after the ruling was issued on Feb 25.

After the third request was rejected and Mr Suporn still did not appear for the hearing, a warrant was issued for his arrest.

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