Seripisut defends candidate caught in drug raid as innocent until proven guilty

Seri Ruam Thai party leader Seripisut Temiyavet has defended a party candidate who was apprehended by police under suspicion of involvement in drug trafficking, saying that the suspect is innocent until proven guilty in court.

Questioned by a reporter about a picture showing him with the suspect, Mr. Suban Mahachanon, the former national police chief, said he didn’t know the man personally, adding that it was quite normal for party members to take photos with their party leaders.

He said that police arrested Mr. Suban because he was at the crime scene and police suspected that he might have been involved in the crime, adding however, that it would depend on the police whether they will formally change Mr. Suban and on the prosecutor as to whether to proceed to the court.

Mr. Suban was arrested by undercover anti-narcotics police at a container yard in Si Racha district of Thailand’s eastern province of Chonburi after they found about 985kgs of crystal methamphetamine hidden in shoe boxes in containers bound for the Philippines.

Asked whether Mr. Suban should be fired from the party, Seripisut explained that the party has regulations to deal with party members facing criminal charges and expulsion of a member from the party will require a vote of two-thirds of the executive committee.


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