NLA president appoints a retired police officer to probe controversial audio clip

Pol Gen Chatchawal Suksomjit was on Monday (April 23) appointed by National Legislative Assembly president Pornpetch Wichitcholachai to head a panel to investigate an audio clip involving the selection of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC).

In the audio clip, which was believed to be recorded during a meeting of the NLA members last week, a man said he was told that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha “was not happy” with the list of 14 NBTC candidates and would like to use his power to scrap it all.

Mr Pornpetch said that, initially, there were two assumptions about the audio clip in question:  the first was that the clip was doctored and the second was that someone had secretly recorded conversations in the meeting.

Critics claimed that the prime minister’s negative expression with the proposed candidates prompted the NLA to shoot down the selection committee’s candidate list on April 19.

Mr Pornpetch warned that legal action would be taken against those responsible for tampering with the clip if it could be proven that the clip was doctored.  However, he noted that there was no need to question the prime minister whether he gave the comment on the matter as claimed by the man in the audio clip or not.

The NLA president stressed that the lawmakers voted against the proposed list of candidates at their own free will and there was no instruction from the prime minister about how they should vote.