JUSTICE MINISTRY OFFICIALS IN CROSSHAIRS AMID ROW OVER FUNDS USED FOR SUSPECT
THE JUSTICE Ministry’s deputy permanent secretary, Pol Colonel Dusadee Arawuit, yesterday dismissed reports that he had been summoned by police over his efforts to help a hit-and-run convict.
“No, there is no summons for me,” he said in response to reports that police had called in Justice Ministry officials including him for questioning over their alleged role in Jomsap Saenmuangkhot’s request for a retrial.
Jomsap, a former teacher, was convicted by the Supreme Court over a fatal hit-and-run accident in 2005 and jailed. But after her release, she sought to overturn her conviction by seeking a retrial, allegedly using a paid scapegoat to take the blame for the accident.
She petitioned for and received help from the Justice Ministry |in preparing evidence for the retrial.
Dusadee is among the officials who openly supported Jomsap’s bid and when the Supreme Court rejected her request last month and pointed to the alleged plot to hire a scapegoat, he came under scrutiny.
The Justice Ministry has launched an inquiry into his actions, and there is widespread speculation that Dusadee is among the officials targeted by the police investigation into Jomsap’s alleged perjury and plot to clear her |name.
“The Provincial Police Region 4 has issued summonses for five of my subordinates only,” Dusadee said yesterday. “He said those officials were Chartchai Tosinthiti, Pol Lt-Colonel Watcharas Chalermsuk-san, Lt-Colonel Naponpong Kamon-ars, Thitinai Patikbutr and Surasak Kamwiang.
“They will meet with police investigators on December 8 [Friday],” Dusadee said.
He said he would be ready to provide information on Jomsap’s case if summoned.
Dusadee said he did not want to comment much on the case, given that the probe launched by his ministry was still ongoing.
He has insisted that his team used just Bt80,000 in state funds in backing Jomsap’s efforts to seek a retrial.
The Help Crime Victims Club has openly questioned this claim, saying it must have cost much more.
“My team dug into our own pockets to cover some of the costs,” Dusadee said.
A source at the Justice Ministry said Jomsap had called for help from the ministry in 2014 and the ministry’s permanent secretary at that time ordered a panel to look into her case.
According to the source, the Court of Appeals agreed last December to look into further evidence submitted by Jomsap and her supporters to determine if the case warranted a retrial.
“Dusadee was assigned to take over this case only on January 9 this year,” the source said.