Pol Gen Patcharawat
National Police chief General Patcharawat Wongsuwan will likely face a criminal charge in connection with last October's bloody crackdown on anti-government protesters, a source said yesterday.
That would be in addition to the serious disciplinary charge recommended against him by the National Anti-Corruption Commission, the source said.
The police crackdown on yellow-shirted protesters, who attempted to prevent then-prime minister Somchai Wongsawat from delivering his policy statement at Parliament, left two people dead and more than a hundred injured.
Wicha said the nine-member NACC agreed to charge two more people for their involvement in the crackdown and file additional charges of severe disciplinary violations and criminal offences against another person who was among those charged previously.
The three people would be notified in writing to formally acknowledge the charges against them by August 3, Wicha said, adding that he expects those people to be indicted by the end of next month.
The NACC agreed not to disclose the identities of those people. Wicha declined to say whether one of the newly charged was Patcharawat.
The police chief's future remains unclear amid lingering speculation that he would be moved to the Prime Minister's Office for allegedly obstructing police investigation into the attempted assassination of Sondhi Limthongkul, a core leader of the People's Alliance for Democracy.
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said he had "not yet" discussed with Deputy Premier Suthep Thaugsuban about Patcharawat's possible transfer and simply smiled when asked if Patcharawat would still "stick to his seat".
Abhisit's daily press conference at Government House was cancelled because he was too busy, government spokesman Panitan Watanayagorn said.
Suthep said the decision to remove Patcharawat would depend solely on the prime minister, who would be able to explain that decision.
The latest information did not indicate that Patcharawat had interfered in the probe, he said.
Suthep, the Democrat Party secretary-general, laughed when asked if he was "arm wrestling" with his party leader Abhisit about the matter.
"I don't think he can beat me at arm wrestling. I'm bigger than he is," he said.
No political implications were intended in his reply, he said. "You asked me just about arm wrestling, right?"
During yesterday's regular Cabinet meeting, Abhisit left the room to meet Suthep and they were seen engaged in a serious discussion for more than an hour, a government source said.
Deputy Prime Minister Korbsak Sabhavasu replaced Abhisit in chairing the rest of the meeting, the source said.