DSI chief threatens House panel
Tarit Pengdith, director general of the Department of Special Investigation, yesterday threatened to take action against the House committee that summoned him for questioning over the 2010 "men in black" and walked out when panel members wanted to turn on a video clip.After refusing to give a statement to the House committee on two occasions, Tarit was forced by law to appear before the panel after the third summons yesterday. The committee oversees political development, media and public participation issues.
Tarit told the committee chaired by Democrat MP for Ubon Ratchathani Supachai Srila that though he was a member of the Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation in 2010, he did not have the authority to join top-secret meetings. He also said that the DSI was not involved in the CRES operations to put the protesters under control and that the so-called "men in black" were never mentioned in the meetings but only referred to as a unidentified militants.
He also said that the committee did not have any authority to question CRES operations or DSI's investigation, since the law protects both agencies in their work, and questioning can adversely affect the cases.
The meeting became tense when Democrat party-list MP Watchara Petthong tried to turn on a video clip showing that Tarit was one of the CRES officials present at a press conference. Tarit then declared this panel was not a court and had no right to question him. He also challenged the committee to take him to court if it believed that resisting and walking out was illegal.
Tarit said he would submit a complaint to the House Speaker today saying that the committee was abusing its power. He said he was not afraid of whatever was in the clip, but that he wanted politicians to know that permanent officials are not subordinates that they can harass at any time.