Sukampol confident in decision over Abhisit row
Defence Minister Sukampol Suwannathat yesterday expressed confidence that his decision to cancel Democrat Party leader and former prime minister Abhisit Vejjaviva's military-service records would not be overturned by the judiciary.
"The Defence Ministry has revoked the unlawful records of Abhisit Vejjajiva," Sukampol said, arguing that his ministerial order was outside the purview of the Administrative Court. Abhisit has filed a complaint with the court against the move.
The Pheu Thai-led government maintains that Abhisit used falsified documents in order to receive his commission and avoid military conscription.
Sukampol said his ministry has ordered the revocation of two orders from Abhisit's military record - his commission into the Army in 1987 and his promotion to sub-lieutenant in 1988.
The next step would be for the Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy, where Abhisit served his commission, to initiate the proceedings with the Army to strip him of his rank.
The academy would have to ask the Army to forward the matter to the Royal Palace and seek a royal command to cancel the rank, Sukampol said, adding that his ministry would have no jurisdiction on the matter.
He went on to clarify that Abhisit had done his job when he taught at the academy, so there was no reason to demand that he return the salary paid to him during his one-year commission.
After Abhisit was discharged, he did not avail himself of any benefits as a reserve officer despite his entitlement, Sukampol said, so the opposition leader has no outstanding liabilities to settle with the military.