Court faults Abhisit over sacking of police chief

national March 01, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

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Top national cop was ousted for alleged role in October 2008 crackdown

The Central Administrative Court ruled yesterday that former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s order in 2009 to dismiss then-national police chief Patcharawat Wongsuwan should be revoked.
The court found that the Police Commission later resolved that Patcharawat did not commit any severe disciplinary wrongdoing in connection with the deadly police crackdown on anti-government protesters on October 7, 2008.
The court ordered the former prime minister to have Patcharawat reinstated within 60 days after the final verdict is made. 
However, both parties in the case can still appeal against the verdict with the Supreme Administrative Court within 30 days.
In October 2009, Abhisit, who was then prime minister, ordered the dismissal of Patcharawat, who was national police chief in October 2008 when police cracked down on protesters gathering near the Parliament. The protesters had rallied against then-prime minister Somchai Wongsawat.
In December 2009, the Police Commission found Patcharawat did not in fact commit severe disciplinary wrongdoing in connection with the incident, as had been alleged. 
Patcharawat said in a petition filed with the court that he had informed Abhisit in writing seven times about the Police Commission decision not to pursue severe disciplinary action against him. But Abhisit told Patcharawat that the Council of State, the government’s legal advisory agency, had to be consulted first before the dismissal order could be cancelled, the petition said. However, the then-prime minister still failed to take any action on the matter.
Patcharawat’s petition said it appeared Abhisit had been intentionally negligent and acted too slowly on the matter. So he took the case to court, asking for the defendant to honour the Police Commission decision that called for his dismissal order to be revoked.
The National Anti-Corruption Commission was co-complainant in the case. 

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