Gen Paiboon Koomchaya, chief of justice affairs on the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), denied Monday that the NCPO planned to conduct an opinion survey on amnesty for political cases.
Speaking during the Inside Thailand programme on Spring News and FM97.0 MHz, Paiboon said the report by Thai Rath Online Sunday, which was quoted by several other newspapers Monday, was not true.
Thai Rath Online quoted Paiboon as saying that he had been instructed by NCPO chief Gen Prayuth to group political cases together and consider surveying opinions to find whether the public would find it acceptable to grant amnesty in certain cases.
In the report, which Thairath Online has now removed from its website, Paiboon did not mention former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra but several newspapers interpreted his reported wording as implying that the NCPO was contemplating an amnesty for Thaksin.
Paiboon cried foul Monday, saying he did not talk about Thaksin at all and noted that he had spoken only to a Thai Rath reporter and was thus at a loss to understand why he was widely quoted by several other newspapers.
He attacked the unnamed reporter of “daydreaming”. “What poll? Why would we want organise a poll. The NCPO has no need to touch cases of politicians who violated the laws,” Paiboon said.
Paiboon quoted Prayuth as insisting that legal procedures involving political cases had to proceed and that politicians would have to defend themselves in court.
“The NCPO has never tried to interfere in independent organidations or influence the court’s decisions or the prosecutions’ outcomes. Politicians who committed wrongdoing shall face punishment according to the law. The NCPO chief has ordered me not to intervene or exert influence otherwise the NCPO will be accused of persecution,” Paiboon said.
“I can do nothing with their lawsuits. They need to settle their own cases. These are individual rights.”
Paiboon said from now on he would restrict his interviews to bills forwarded to the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) in accordance with the roadmap of the junta chief.