Former teacher Jomsap Saenmuangkhot, 55, speaks to reporters after hearing the Supreme Court’s rejection of her request for a retrial to clear her name in a fatal hit-and-run case that put her in prison for 18 months, on Nov 17. (Photo by Patanapong Sripiachai)
KHON KAEN: Police will charge 14 officials of the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) with dereliction of duty in the perjury case against hit-and-run teacher Jomsap Saenmuangkhot.
Pol Maj Gen Thanasak Ritthidechpaibul, deputy commissioner of Provincial Police Region 4, said on Thursday that police had summonsed 14 DSI officials for interrogation in the case, which involves an alleged conspiracy to clear former teacher Jomsap of a conviction for a fatal hit-and-run.
Jomsap, 55, was found guilty of reckless driving causing death after a pickup truck struck a bicycle, killing 75-year-old Lua Pobamrung, in Renu Nakhon district of Nakhon Phanom on March 11, 2005. The Supreme Court sentenced her to three years and two months in jail in 2013.
She was released after serving one year and six months under a royal amnesty and sought a retrial of her case in 2015 through the Justice Ministry. The DSI officials were assigned to help her. On Nov 17 the Supreme Court dismissed her claim of wrongful conviction, citing poor supporting evidence. Police then started the perjury case, in which other people were reportedly paid to come forward and claim they had been driving the car, not Jomsap.
Pol Maj Gen Thanasak said the interrogation committee of the Provincial Police Region 4 found dereliction of duty by the 14 DSI officials, who failed to make careful consideration and exercise their interrogatory capabilities, in a way that caused damage.
The regional police office would propose disciplinary action and further legal action by the National Anti-Corruption Commission, he said.
The 14 officials are DSI special case specialists, interrogators and legal affairs officials, and some of them are police lieutenant colonels and police majors.
The regional police office had treated Dusadee Arayawut, deputy permanent secretary for justice, and Yodmongkol Sappaisalsuk, a lawyer of the Justice Ministry, as witnesses in the case, Pol Maj Gen Thanasak said.
He said that the case also included 11 civilians, among them Jomsap and other people accused of being false witnesses or hiring false witnesses.
It was reported that if the retrial had been successful, Jomsap would have been reinstated in the civil service, received her former salary and compensation for the period when she was in jail, and have been eligible for retirement benefits. She had been earning about 60,000 baht a month as a teacher.