Supachai’s son denies sexually harassing intern, TV station reports
Democrat Party deputy leader Prinn Panitchpakdi on Thursday has reportedly denied sexually harassing a young woman during her internship with him, according to a local TV station.
Thai PBS TV station reported that Prinn, the son of former deputy prime minister and Word Trade Organisation chief Supachai Panitchpakdi, had explained the issue to his father.
The TV station quoted Prinn as saying he has also called the mother of the young intern to explain himself and insist on his innocence.
The TV station reported that Prinn would hold a press conference on the issue on Thursday afternoon. However, when a Nation Group reporter called him up, he said there would be no press conference and hung up.
The TV station’s report followed a Facebook post by a prominent lawyer, Sittha Biabungkerd, who said in the post on Wednesday that an 18-year-old girl had come to his law firm to consultat on alleged sexual harassment by the deputy leader of a political party.
“A young girl came to seek my advice. She said a deputy leader of a large political party had sexually harassed her. She said she was kissed on the cheek and was hugged, and the individual groped her bottom without her consent,” Sittha said in the post, without specifying who the deputy leader was and which party he belonged to.
The post went viral, drawing over 22,000 comments and was shared over 1,000 times in less than 24 hours.
Sittha said the politician’s father was well-known globally, without naming him.
The lawyer, who rose to prominence after winning a THB30-million lottery case in Kanchanaburi province a few years ago, said he had advised the intern to file a complaint with police.
Before the TPBS report was aired, Democrat Party spokesman Ramet Ratanachaweng posted on his Facebook wall that he had no idea who Sittha had referred to and was not sure whether it was the Democrat or not.
Ramet said he had made the Facebook post because a lot of reporters had called him up with enquiries, and his Facebook inbox was flooded with questions about whether the Democrat would hold a press conference.
“I can’t really answer the questions because I don’t know who did what and when and how,” Ramet said in his Facebook post.
“But if he is a Democrat member, I would like to assure that ‘no one will be above the law and the righteousness of the country.’ Wrongdoing will be treated as such.”
On Thursday, Sittha made more Facebook posts, saying the deputy leader in question, without naming him, had committed similar acts against at least two young women in England.
“But the incidents were hushed up because his father was holding a very big position at that time,” Sittha said.
Sittha said he had received more information from two women, who said they were also molested by the politician in question when they went to have internship on economic and financial affairs with him.
After Thai PBS aired the report, Sittha said in a Facebook Live session that he had received more complaints from many more women, accusing the politician of molesting them during the past decades.
Sittha confirmed that the politician in question had contacted the family of the 18-year-old girl but the politician did not know that the girl had filed a complaint against him at Lumpini Police Station.
After the live session, Sittha went to the police station to find out about progress in the case.