Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha on Tuesday urged the media not to put pressure on his deputy, Gen Prawit Wongsuwan, over allegations surrounding his possession of luxurious accessories.
The premier appealed for legal procedures to be followed in the case, and urged the public not to be pessimistic about the matter.
He said he was not giving any moral support to the deputy PM as he was strong enough to handle the issue.
Some of the allegations against Prawit have targeted their relationship and some people would like to see the two of them separated, the premier added.
“But I’m strong, and you know that if I had no-one by my side, I would become more aggressive and exercise my full power,” Prayut insisted.
Last week, the National Anti-Corruption Commission gave Prawit 30 days to justify his possession of two extravagant items – a super-luxury watch and a large diamond ring – which he had worn during a group photograph with the recently reshuffled Cabinet the preceding Monday.
The photo – which showed the 72-year-old retired general shielding his eyes with his hand, displaying what appeared to be extremely expensive accessories – quickly caught the public’s attention and raised questions as to how a lifelong military officer could afford such luxuries.