TNN Interviews Deputy Prosecutor on DSI Providing Notification of Charges

On May 26, 2016, TNN news anchor conducted a phone interview with Mr. Paramet Intarachumnum, Deputy Director General of the Office of Criminal Prosecutor, whereby Mr. Intarachumnum provides his expert opinion on DSI notifying suspects regarding the hearing of charges.

Back story: 

Wat Phra Dhammakaya has repeatedly pleaded with DSI officials to conduct their investigation with Venerable Dhammajayo at the temple due to his physician-verified illness which prevents him from travelling long distances. DSI has refused to respond to their multiple requests, claiming that DSI is not able to notify Ven. Dhammajayo of charges at Wat Phra Dhammakaya because it is not a government building. 

This interview with Mr. Paramet Intarachumnum refutes this claim. Charges can be presented anywhere, including at the temple.

This begs the question: Why has DSI refused to go to the temple?

In another interview

On May 27, 2016,  Deputy Director General, Department of Public Prosecutor Commission was interviewed again on ThairathTV saying. “DSI can hand out charges at any venue.” Phra Dhammajayo’s supporters suspect scheme to disrobe by force.

In a press interview today by Thairath TV channel 32, Mr. Paramet Intarachumnum, Deputy Director General, Department of Public Prosecutor Commission, Office of Criminal Litigation, revealed the reality behind Phra Dhammajayo’s case. He said, DSI has the power to serve charges at any location. There was no need to create such commotion. If DSI could serve charges at Khlong Luang, why could they not do so at the temple?”

He said:  “According to Article 134 of the criminal code, when a suspect is summoned, or delivered, or shows up in person, or presents himself before an investigative official for questioning, the person would be asked his name and other basic information, and be told of what he has done wrong; then charges are served.”  

Where should the place be to serve charges?

“DSI has the power to choose the place and time for serving charges as it sees fit. In the case of Dhammajayo, it can be done at the temple. After charges are served, whether the suspect is to be detained or not, or to be free on bail, is up to DSI’s discretion. DSI has the power to do this. There is nothing abnormal about serving charges at the temple. I suspect there is too much of a game being played here; so much unnecessary commotion. Why was DSI able to serve charges at Khlong Luang, but not at the temple? Think about it. Why does it have to be at DSI’s location? And why could they do it at Khlong Luang this time? If they could come to Khlong Luang, they could also come to the temple.”  

Can DSI avoid public unrest?

“This may be the reason why they are operating this way. But in truth the case should be handled the usual way. Right now, the method used in handling this case seems to be distorted and has deviated from the norm. Once DSI serves the charges, how Dhammajayo gives his testimony, be it in writing or verbally, is up to him. It is his right. There is nothing irregular about this. This can be done easily and comfortably. I’m not sure what is happening to our society today. Using the law seems to be so problematic nowadays.”

In the case that Dhammajayo is seriously ill, should DSI come to his location to serve charges?

“Charges can be served in many different places. Charges have been served in prisons. An accused can lay sick in a prison or a hospital. Whether a person is able to get up and walk is not the issue. In my personal opinion, if Dhammajayo can get on an ambulance and come to acknowledge the charges, the matter is over. There is no need to post bail. Many cases have been done this way without the need for bail. The accused shows up on time and the business is over. No need for bail. It is that simple. But now I hear that bail is required. Five million baht for bail is not the main point. The main point is you show up to acknowledge the charges. How you give your testimony is up to you.”