Prinn reports to Lumpini police over sexual harassment claims
Former Democrat Party deputy leader Prinn Panitchpakdi reported to Lumpini Police Station in Bangkok on Saturday after being hit by multiple sexual harassment allegations.
The 44-year-old politician was accompanied by his lawyer.
Prinn turned himself in after Metropolitan Police Bureau deputy commissioner Trairong Piwpan said an arrest warrant may be issued for him on Saturday.
“I come here to fight the case through the justice process,” he told reporters before leaving the police station at around noon.
He is required to report again at 8am on Sunday to attend a South Bangkok Criminal Court hearing on whether he should be remanded during the investigation.
Prinn was also reportedly interrogated by investigators at the police station.
So far, three complaints have been filed with police against the politician and they are all being treated as separate cases, so he will have to seek bail for them separately, deputy Metropolitan Police chief Pol Maj-General Jirasan Kaewsaengake said on Saturday.
Jirasan added that police have no authority to detain Prinn as he has surrendered voluntarily unless he fails to show up for court hearing on Sunday. He also said that police will ask the court to make “no overseas trips” a bail condition for Prinn.
“The suspect has a house outside Thailand and his alleged offences carry severe penalties involving many complainants,” the police officer added.
He also maintained that police have no concerns about dealing with Prinn’s case even though the suspect holds several political positions. “The police adheres to the law. We work fairly and transparently. Everyone must come under the law,” he said.
On Friday, Trairong said Prinn could be charged with indecently exposing himself in a public place based on an allegation made by an 18-year-old college student.
The student claims the incident occurred after Prinn invited her to a rooftop restaurant on Sukhumvit. She and her mother filed the complaint at Lumpini Police Station on Tuesday via their lawyer Sittra Biabungkerd.
Police also questioned the taxi driver who transported the student.
Three more women have now filed complaints against Prinn, according to Trairong.
One of the complaints is similar to that filed by the student, but allegedly stems from an incident at the end of February.
Prinn has denied the allegations but said he had resigned from all his Democrat Party posts to fight the charges and clear his name.
If found guilty, he could face a jail term of up to 10 years and/or a fine of up to 200,000 baht.