Surapong to sue charter court judges

Former deputy prime minister and foreign minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul on Monday said he will sue the Constitutional Court judges for their decision to disqualify him in the case involving the removal of National Security Council chief Thawil Pliensri in 2011.

Mr Surapong said he will file a petition with the Criminal Court on Friday asking that it rule whether the nine Constitutional Court judges abused their power.

Mr Surapong said the judges dismissed him from the cabinet even though the group of anti-government senators who brought the case to court asked them to decide only on Yingluck Shinawatra's prime ministerial status in the transfer of Mr Thawil Pliensri, which was ruled unfair and illegal, and not him.

He said the court decision was damaging him and his reputation and created a vacuum in the foreign ministerial portfolio and associated duties.   

Mr Surapong was one of the nine cabinet members stripped of their positions, along with Ms Yingluck, when the charter court ruled on the Administrative Court's finding the transfer of Mr Thawil to a post as prime ministerial adviser was illegal. The charter court ruled it was an abuse of power under the constitution. 

Ms Yingluck chaired a cabinet meeting on Sept 6, 2011 which approved the hostile transfer order. As a result, the court said, the other cabinet members of the time involved also had to take responsibility.

Nine of them were members of the Yingluck 2014 caretaker cabinet and were disqualified, including Mr Surapong

“According to judicial procedure, an accused person must receive documents from the court notifying them that a charge has been laid against them. They later testify in their defence against the charge. In my case, I did not receive any documents from the Constitutional Court. 

“I must protect my rights by suing the Constitutional Court judges in order to prevent a repeat,” the ex-deputy premier said. 

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