11 July 2024

Former police chief Pol Gen Torsak Sukvimol will be reinstated while his rival, Pol Gen Surachate Hakparn, was already reinstated on April 18, said Wissanu Krea-ngam, a special advisor to Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, at a news conference today.

He said that the fact-finding committee, chaired by Chatchai Promlert, former permanent secretary of the interior, found that neither Torsak nor Surachate had committed any wrongdoing.

It however found that their personal conflicts over the handling of several high-profile cases had caused widespread division at various levels within the police force.

He said the Chatchai committee found the conflict between the two high-ranking police officers very complicated and it took those about four months to complete the probe.

Torsak and Surachate were ordered transferred out of the Royal Thai Police, to the PM’s Office, by the prime minister on March 20, pending the outcome of the investigation. 

On the same day, an order was issued by the acting police chief to place Surachate under investigation, followed by another order removing him from the police force.

Wissanu said that the order removing Surachate from the force was not legitimate, as such punitive action must be recommended by an investigating panel.

In this case, he disclosed that the Council of State ruled unanimously that Surachate’s removal from the police force was wrongful and had deprived him of his rights and duties, such as his salary, the use of a car and the right to promotion.

The Council of State recommended that the secretariat of the PM’s Office, which is currently in the process of seeking Royal approval for the dismissal of Surachate, rectify the mistake.

The former deputy police chief’s petition for justice is pending with the Police Good Governance Protection Committee.

Wissanu said he is optimistic that the conflicts inside the RTP will ease as a result of the outcome of the Chatchai panel’s investigation, adding that all sides have being trying to mend fences in the past four months.

He offered his assurance that the investigation was straightforward and there was no attempt at a whitewash. 

Regarding cases pending with the National Anti-Corruption Commission and the Criminal Court, he said the two parties will have to fend for themselves.