Supachai’s son quits Democrat Party, denies sexually harassing intern
Democrat Party deputy leader Prinn Panitchpakdi on Thursday afternoon held a press conference to deny he had sexually harassed an intern and announced his resignation from the party.
Prinn, the son of former deputy prime minister and Word Trade Organisation chief Supachai Panitchpakdi, told the press that he had quit all party positions, including the post of deputy leader, to defend himself in the judicial process.
“I hereby affirm my innocence. I deny all allegations against me,” Prinn told the press conference held at 3pm at the Mother God main ground of the Democrat Party head office.
“Although the allegations are a personal matter, they affect my work with the Democrat Party because these allegations have an impact on my image. So, I decided to take responsibility by resigning as a member of the party and I’m ready to enter the judicial system.”
On Wednesday, a prominent lawyer, Sittha Biabungkerd, posted on his Facebook wall that an 18-year-old woman had sought his legal advice after she alleged she was sexually harassed by a deputy leader of a large political party during her internship with him. The lawyer did not mention the name of the suspect or the party he was associated with.
But on Thursday, Thai PBS reported that Prinn had called the intern’s mother to deny allegations without offering to reach any settlement. The TV station also reported that Prinn had explained the issue to his father.
Three hours before Prinn held a press conference, Sittha claimed in another Facebook post that he had received complaints from more than 10 other “victims”, who claimed they had been molested by the same politician.
“I see that a person with a high-level post like this can pose a danger to women. I notice that he likes to call young women to be trained by him so that he could molest them … None of the victims dared to file police complaints because his father has a high position and he has good backing.
“I would like to call on the party to conduct an investigation. The person does not have to explain anything to me. He simply has to report to police in line with the summons order because victims have started giving information to police,” Sittha said.