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Justice official not removed for finding graft: PM

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra yesterday dismissed allegations that a senior justice official was kicked upstairs for rooting out graft violations linked to flood-relief projects.

"Please do not refer to Dusadee Arayawuth as being removed," she said after chairing the Cabinet meeting to approve the Justice Ministry line-up.

Dusadee, who served as the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) secretary general, is slated to become deputy permanent secretary for the Justice Ministry, effective October 1.

In another Justice Ministry move, deputy national police chief General Pongsapat Pongcharoen will also be director general of the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB).

Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung, in charge of drug suppression, said Justice Minister Pracha Promnok had full control over job assignments in his ministry.

Chalerm said Pracha decided not to name Dusadee's successor as this juncture.

"I believe Pracha will make his decision in due course," Chalerm said, responding to allegations that the government is poised to promote Pravesna Mulpramook, deputy director general of the Department of Special Investigation, as Dusadee's successor.

But some sources said Dusadee's post may be left vacant for a while because if Pravesana is awarded the position, PACC regulations must be changed, as they state that a PACC director-general must be promoted from a deputy post.

Critics, however, voiced suspicion about Dusadee being moved when the PACC was in the middle of several high-profile graft cases.

The ongoing crackdown on grey imports of luxury cars had hit the lucrative income going to powerful politicians, critics said.

They also said Dusadee may have upset the powers-that-be after he spearheaded graft investigations in flood-relief in the Northeast, a political stronghold of his boss Pracha and the ruling party.

Dusadee had earlier been tipped to head the ONCB because of his past experience on drug suppression. Instead, the government opted to sideline him.

Dusadee, who yesterday took a helicopter tour of national parks and forest preserves in Chaiyaphum and Loei, joked that he chose to fly so he could "try the atmosphere" and the feeling of being "removed from the air". He said he was not discouraged with his new post and noted that he'd been transferred every other year.

At the Interior Ministry, Wibul Sanguangpong will fill the position of permanent secretary, replacing Phranai Suwannarat, who is due to retire on September 30. He is now chief of the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department.

Chatchai Phromlert, governor of Lop Buri, will succeed Wibul as disaster chief on October 1.

Three positions for deputy permanent secretary will be filled by ML Panadda Diskul, Prapas Boonyindee and Panu Uthairat. Panadda is governor of Chiang Mai, Prapas is director general of the Community Development Department and Panu is an adviser to the prime minister.

Nakhon Ratchasima governor Chuan Sirinanporn will be promoted to the position of director general of the Provincial Administration Department. Udon Thani governor Kaenphet Chuangrangsee will be promoted to director general of the Local Administration Department.


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