DSI probes alleged police execution in Phuket
PHUKET: Department of Special Investigation (DSI) officers yesterday (April 25) visited Suan Luang Park on Chao Fa Rd in Phuket Town, the site of an alleged extrajudicial killing by police three and a half years ago.
Friday 26 April 2013, 04:07PM
The DSI investigation into the death of Ong-At Rodpradit, 32, comes after it received a complaint from the dead man’s father, Wichit, saying that he felt there were many suspicious aspects to the case, leading him to believe that his son was executed by police.
Pol Lt Col Yannapon Yangyeun, Deputy Director of the DSI went to the scene with a team from the Central Institute of Forensic Science (CIFS) to check the surroundings and assess possible bullet ranges and trajectories.
Ong-At was sought on charges of stealing a Buddha amulet while armed, and using a vehicle (both of which make the robbery more serious in Thai law). He was arrested when he and a friend tried to sell the amulet to a shop near the park.
Mr Wichit said he had received a call from a police officer telling him that his son had been arrested. At that time, he said, he understood the situation and thought that his son was probably guilty and deserved to be arrested.
But later the same day his daughter called him to say that Ong-At had been shot dead while resisting arrest. He felt there was something wrong about this.
When he, his wife and their daughter arrived at the scene of the shooting, he noticed that his son’s shirt and the SIM card from his phone were missing. Police said the shirt was being kept as evidence and that they had not found the SIM card.
Mr Wichit said his son’s body was covered in bruises; it looked as though he had been beaten up.
Lying on the ground, his son had his arms raised as if in surrender and the gun, in his right hand, was pointing at his own head. These points, Mr Wichit said, led him to the conclusion that his son did not resist arrest.
He added that the police did not seem to want to help him. He asked for a copy of the autopsy report but had still not received it, four years later.
Col Yannapon said after the visit to the park that the CIFS team will take all the evidence and information back to analysis in Bangkok and DSI officers will question anyone with links to the incident.
He also appealed for witnesses to the shooting to come forward, promising them that the DSI has an effective witness protection programme.
He added, however, that the DSI will be fair to both Mr Wichit and the police.