Police ‘make progress’ on cases of alleged sex abuse by Prinn

MONDAY, APRIL 18, 2022

Police on Monday gave an update on their investigation of sex abuse complaints made against former Democrat politician Prinn Panitchpakdi.

Metropolitan Police Bureau deputy commissioner Trairong Piwpan confirmed the cases cover complaints made by four women – three at Lumpini station and one in Phetchaburi.

Police were still gathering evidence for a complaint against Prinn made in Chiang Mai.

He spoke after meeting with investigators at Lumpini station on Monday at 10am.

Trairong said police had received useful testimony from several witnesses in the first case reported on April 12, referring to the complaint by an 18-year-old student that Prinn groped her at a Bangkok rooftop bar. Police were investigating the bar as a possible crime scene, he added.

They were also questioning the accusers and gathering evidence for the other two complaints made at Lumpini police station.

These were a rape complaint made by Hathairat Thanakitamnuay, 30, wife of anti-government figure Thanat "Luk Nut" Thanakitamnuay, and a sexual harassment allegation made by another 18-year-old student.

In the Phetchaburi case, Lumpini police questioned the accuser and sent the case back to Phetchaburi.

Trairong admitted the investigation was challenging as many of the alleged crimes occurred some time ago so evidence might be lost. The Chiang Mai case, for example, stems from an alleged incident early last year.

Regarding the accusation that Prinn used a police colonel to try to bribe one of the alleged victims to drop the case, Trairong said if evidence was found for this, police would ask the court to revoke his bail.

Prinn was granted bail release on a 700,000-baht cash surety on Sunday, on condition he does not leave the country or seek to meddle with evidence or his accusers.

Trairong said police were preparing to receive complaints of sexual abuse against Prinn by another five or six women on Monday.

He declined to comment on the large number of accusations at the same time, or whether the cases had any relation to politics, only saying that police would proceed according to the evidence and be fair to all sides.