'Big Joke' set to file case against PM

'Big Joke' set to file case against PM

Pol Lt Gen Surachate Hakparn
Pol Lt Gen Surachate Hakparn

Adviser to the Office of the Prime Minister, Pol Lt Gen Surachate Hakparn, on Tuesday assigned his attorney to file a complaint against Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha in the Administrative Court for "unlawfully" transferring him in 2019.

Pol Lt Gen Surachate said there had been no formal probe against him by investigative agencies such as the Public Prosecutor Commission, the National Anti-Corruption Commission or the State Audit Office. The transfer was also against his will, the former Immigration Bureau chief said.

The PM said he had asked his legal team to defend the case on his behalf.

More than 90 officials have been transferred to the Office of the Prime Minister. Around 80 have returned to their original posts and some of them will retire in October this year.

Pol Lt Gen Surachate, who goes by the nickname "Big Joke", was the commander of the Immigration Police Bureau until last year, when he was suddenly shunted out of law enforcement to the civilian position of adviser at the Prime Minister's Office. The reason for his sudden fall from grace was never explained.

He recently made the headlines again after a gunman fired at least seven shots at his parked car while he was in a nearby restaurant in Bangkok.

Some people, including police, suspected the shooting was stage managed. Pol Lt Gen Surachate profusely denied this, saying there was no reason to stage it and whether he would be transferred back to the police agency depended on the premier.

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