Army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha yesterday said critics of Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva must have fresh evidence in order to reopen the probe into his conscription as the case was closed since 1999 after finding no wrongdoing.
“The Army has forwarded all documents, which were the outcome of the 1999 probe, to the Defence Ministry and I am not in a position to judge who is right or wrong,” he said.
Prayuth said the Army did not have any additional documents or evidence to change its decision to close the case involving Abhisit.
He said the Army Inspector-General Department was responsible for compiling evidence in the case and forwading its findings to the ministry.
“I would prefer devoting my attention to the more than 200,000 troops than to someone like Abhisit who is not in military service,” he said.
Commenting on the allegation that a general and five colonels had helped Abhisit to dodge his draft, he said he wanted specific names in order to look into the matter.
The previous investigation had found no cause to suspect foul play in Abhisit’s conscription, he said.
Abhisit said he had time and again explained his conscription records.
The attention has been rekindled because he is suing red-shirt leader Jatuporn Promphan for defamation.
He said he would like to remind Jatuporn and his supporters that their attempts to sway the judicial decision might lead to a charge of contempt.
He said the government should be mindful that state media outlets were being used as the mouthpiece for Jatuporn.
Pheu Thai MP Kokaew Pikulthong said if the Army found no wrongdoing in the case, then it should release a document dated March 8, 1999, which was an investigative report done by the Army Reserve Department.
Kokaew said he believed this document was evidence that the listing of Abhisit in the reserve forces was unlawful.
He also said he suspected Abhisit had an ulterior motive in using his teaching job at the Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy to evade conscription duty.
“Abhisit took a leave of absence for 200 days in a year at the job,” he said.