"I was the person who previously nominated Pol Col Dusadee for the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission secretary-general's post because he has extensive knowledge and is a capable man," Pol Gen Pracha said on Friday.The minister was responding to criticism of his move to appoint Pol Col Dusadee as a deputy permanent secretary for justice. Critics say the officer was being sidelined because some of his anti-corruption investigatins were getting too close to people in power.
"I'm not trying to offend or demote Pol Col Dusadee but the scope of his previous job is too narrow and I want him to oversee narcotics suppression in a bigger picture," said Mr Pracha.The minister said he and Pol Col Dusadee had already talked about the issue for hours and it was now settled.The selection of a new PACC secretary-general would be discussed next week, he added.The cabinet this week approved Pol Col Dusadee's controversial transfer. A Justice Ministry source said earlier the transfer would free him of the graft-busting projects he had been working on, notably the alleged imports of undervalued luxury cars to avoid tax, and the complicity of politicians and state officials in the racket.In a related development, Metropolitan Police Bureau chief Khamronwit Thoopkrachang has brushed aside calls for his immediate resignation because of his recent meeting with fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra in Hong Kong.Pol Lt-Gen Khamronwit said he would step down voluntarily if and when there was a change of government.He indicated his stance while addressing more than 1,000 police officers who turned up at the Metropolitan Police Bureau on Friday to support and praise him for his impartial and decisive response in the hit-and-run case involving the son of a top executive of the Red Bull energy drink business empire.The city police chief thanked his subordinates for their support and admitted that he had met Thaksin in Hong Kong on June 29 -- the same day that the royal command was issued endorsing his promotion.He said he went there to ask the former premier, whom he openly loves and respects, to present him with insignia of his new rank.After meeting Thaksin, the city police chief said he placed a framed photo of himself with Thaksin on his office wall with an inscription in his own hand, "I have 'today' because you gave it to me".Critics have pointed to the inscription and questioned whether Thaksin was responsible for the decision to promote Pol Lt-Gen Khamronwit to head the Metropolitan Police Bureau.The chief said the message on the picture had been widely misinterpreted. In fact, it referred to the name of the only song he liked to sing, which was "Pee Mee Tae Hai (I only give)". Pol Lt-Gen Khamronwit was due to leave the country later Friday to visit France, Belgium and the Netherlands to observe port and logistics management. He was due to return to Bangkok on Tuesday.The Green Politics group wants the Office of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) to investigate whether Pol Lt-Gen Khamronwit failed in his duty to arrest Thaksin when the two men met in Hong Kong. "I started off as a country boy and have come this far to serve the people. If the government changes, I will resign, no need to transfer me. I can write my resignation letter in advance, no problem," the city police chief said."I am the Metropolitan Police Bureau commissioner of Thailand, not the Metropolitan Police Bureau chief for other countries, so how could I have arrested someone outside the kingdom?"