Former police chief Sereepisuth Temeeyaves on Thursday filed a petition with the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC), accusing Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin and the Police Commission of unlawfully appointing Pol Gen Torsak Sukvimol as the new chief.
Pol Gen Sereepisuth, leader of the Seri Ruam Thai Party, one of the 11 parties in the Pheu Thai-led coalition government, was accompanied by lawyer Ananchai Chaidet, who had vowed earlier that there would be a “super big surprise” on Oct 5.
The petition accuses Mr Srettha, the ex-officio chairman of the Police Commission, and 10 other members of unlawfully appointing Pol Gen Torsak Sukvimol without adhering to the rule of seniority under the Police Act.
There were four candidates in the selection process on Sept 27. Pol Gen Torsak was fourth in seniority among the four contenders. The others were Pol Gen Roy Ingkapairote, the most senior, Pol Gen Surachate Hakparn, the second-most senior, and Pol Gen Pol Gen Kitrat Phanphet.
Pol Gen Torsak was selected for the top police job, despite being the last in seniority. The brother of ACM Satitpong Sukvimol, he stood out for his rapid rise through the ranks since joining the force at the relatively late age of 33 after pursuing other careers.
Although Mr Srettha abstained from voting, he was still responsible as he was the one who nominated Pol Gen Torsak, the petition said.
Mr Ananchai has been in the headlines since he announced he was representing Pol Gen Surachate and eight other police officers accused of being linked to illegal gambling websites.
The lawyer said a “senior individual in the government” called him on the phone and asked him and Pol Gen Surachate not to go ahead with the case.
Pol Gen Surachate, who had earlier said the raid on his home was connected to police force internal politics, subsequently agreed to back down. He subsequently went to congratulate Pol Gen Torsak and clear the air a day after the latter’s appointment.
However, Mr Ananchai said that as a lawyer, he was determined to go ahead with the case and reveal the truth.
Mr Ananchai admitted that Pol Gen Surachate had never appointed him as his lawyer, but said he and the deputy police chief still had a good relationship. He said he was still representing the eight other officers.
He denied an allegation that he had been paid 10 million baht by Pol Gen Surachate. “Even the eight officers, I have not received a single baht from them,” the lawyer added.