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DSI to seek arrest warrant against acting abbot of Wat Dhammakaya

The Department of Special Investigation will seek warrant for the arrest of Phra Sutham Yannavithet, acting abbot of Wat Dhammakaya, after the monk failed to show up to at Thanya Buri court as appointed by DSI officials.

Phra Sutham turned himself in to inquiry officers at Klong Luang district police office on Tuesday to acknowledge charges of providing sanctuary to Phra Dhammachayo in accordance with Sections 157 and 189 of the Criminal Code. The inquiry officers refused to grant bail to Phra Sutham who was required to show up on Wednesday at Thanya Buri court.

DSI officials reportedly tried repeatedly to contact Phra Sutham but without success as he apparently switched off his mobile phone. They asked one of the monk's lawyers, Mr Natthachai Kliewpien, who claimed he was fired and no longer his lawyer.

The DSI officials waited until 4.30 pm, the office's closing hour and still there was no trace of Phra Sutham.

Meanwhile, Phra Budda Isara, former abbot of Wat Or Noi in Nakhon Pathom, said he had trust in Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha whom, he believes, would take legal action against Phra Dhammachayo.

He (PM Prayut) promised to return happiness to the people and promised to uphold the rule of law in national administration. I believe the Dhammachayo case will be dealt with under the justice system within the tenure of this government, said Phra Budda Isara.

But if nothing is done with the embattled monk, he warned that he might have to take to the street to do it in his own way.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)

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