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TUESDAY, October 04, 2022
Council slams police action against lawyer

Council slams police action against lawyer

WEDNESDAY, June 20, 2018

THE PRESIDENT of the Lawyers Council of Thailand, Thawal Ruyaporn, has slammed the police Crime Suppression Division (CSD) for forcing lawyer Sukit Phoonsrikasem to the ground and handcuffing him at Bangkok’s Phaholyothin Police Station on Tuesday afternoon.

“That was an over-reaction, beyond the call of police duty, because Sukit was at the police precinct; he was not trying or obstruct police from arresting him,” Thawal told a press conference on Wednesday. 

Council slams police action against lawyer
Thawal said a fact-finding committee had been assigned to probe the incident – also caught in photos and video that has gone viral on social media – and present their findings to the council’s meeting on June 28 because Sukit was apprehended in an “inappropriate and excessively violent” manner while he was serving as a lawyer. 
Thawal said the council was deciding its next move to protect the profession and would leave it to the courts to decide whether police had “over-reacted” as alleged.

Council slams police action against lawyer
Meanwhile, Sukit, who was later freed on bail and reportedly treated in a hospital for an injured hip and bruises, told The Nation that he would file a complaint against CSD commander Pol Maj-General Maitree Chimcherd, who is the supervisor of the 10 officers who had “over-reacted”. 
He said the injury was sustained due to the manner in which he was arrested and he was awaiting a medical certificate – expected in 2-3 days – to back up his claim.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan, who is in charge of police affairs, said the police action was probably prompted by resistance from the lawyer. Prawit told reporters at Government House, “The police are doing their job. After being asked to go to the interrogation room nicely, he wouldn’t and resisted. If he had just walked, this wouldn’t have become an issue.”
CSD deputy commander Pol Colonel Charoonkiat Pankaew, who was part of the arresting team, insisted that police had acted as per the Criminal Procedure Code and there was no over-reaction or use of weapons. He said the police action was appropriate in the situation due to the flight risk and the obstruction faced by officers. He said the council should not try to create a “negative norm”. He said Sukit was within his rights to sue the police.
Sukit was at the precinct as the lawyer of a self-proclaimed spirit medium to file a defamation complaint against another person, when he was apprehended after reportedly refusing to go quietly with the CSD officers who served him with a warrant over forest encroachment in Tak and illegal possession of a protected wildlife carcass [a Kalij pheasant]. 

Council slams police action against lawyer
Amid the chaos, the 49-year-old medium, Saengsuriyathep Phramahasuriya, slipped out of the precinct without filing the complaint against Atchariya Ruangratanapong, a lawyer and chairman of the Facebook group for assisting crime victims. She later returned with a new lawyer to file the complaint.
Saengsuriyathep had previously been hit by a complaint filed with the CSD on June 18 by Atchariya, along with Jatukam Ramathep amulet expert Thanat Chaiwachirasak and a Thai administrator of Facebook group “Bee F**kGhost”, which opposes superstition. The three men accused Saengsuriyathep of insulting the monarchy [by claiming to be a medium of past kings’ spirits] and promoting false information to the public – both accusations denied by her. She claimed that she only was a medium for Jatukam Ramathep and she didn’t make any false claims or demand money from those seeking her services.