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Immigration officer faces murder charge for fatal Rohingya shooting

PHUKET: The immigration officer who fatally shot a Rohingya man on the run after escaping the Immigration Centre in Phang Nga in May is facing a murder charge in court, Phang Nga Police Deputy Superintendent Col Chote Chitchai has confirmed.

immigration, death, crime, accidents, violence,


The Phuket News

Saturday 10 September 2016, 11:02AM


The 18-year-old Rohingya escapee Mohammad Khawnee was shot dead while fleeing immigration officers in pursuit after the mass breakout of Rohingya refugees from the Phang Nga Immigration Detention Centre on May 23. Photo: The Phuket News / file
The 18-year-old Rohingya escapee Mohammad Khawnee was shot dead while fleeing immigration officers in pursuit after the mass breakout of Rohingya refugees from the Phang Nga Immigration Detention Centre on May 23. Photo: The Phuket News / file

Sgt Thanakorn Noosawas of the Phang Nga Immigration Office shot dead 18-year-old Rohingya escapee Mohammad Khawnee while in pursuit of the fugitive on May 23.

Mr Mohammad was one of 21 Rohingya migrants who escaped the Phang Nga Immigration Detention Centre at about 3am that day.

Police claimed that Sgt Thanakorn had opened fire in self-defence, as the group of escapees that Sgt Thanakorn was pursuing with other officers had started throwing large rocks down at them from higher up on the steep ridge. (See story here.)

“Sgt Thanakorn is facing the murder charge at Phang Nga Provincial Court,” Col Chote told The Phuket News.

“The trial is still ongoing. It is taking time as the court still has yet to receive the official autopsy report [on the body of Mr Mohammad],” he said.

“Police handed this case to the court a month ago after we questioned all witnesses and people involved in the shooting,” Col Chote explained.

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“Even though all witnesses said that the officer shot the victim in self-defence because the victim threw a large rock at him, the officer faces the charge of murder and the court will decide whether or not he is guilty,” he said.

“Right now they are examining all relevant evidence and the investigation process,” Col Chote added.

Meanwhile, the posthumous charge of attempted murder against Mr Mohammad is also ongoing at the court, Col Chote added.

Of note, the verdict on whether or not Mr Mohammad is guilty of attempted murder by participating in throwing large rocks at the immigration posse chasing him will likely have a significant effect on whether or not Sgt Thanakorn was acting in self-defence.

“This case is also taking time,” was all Col Chote would offer on this case.

 

 

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Rorii | 14 September 2016 - 17:54:59

Joe12, you raised the issue of "toxicology" reports, read you own comment..
"hey will have had a unofficial autopsy report, but there is no mention of the toxicology examinations being completed to make it "official" as these take longer." Once again, not 3 1/2 months.

You memory really is fading fast.

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Joe12 | 13 September 2016 - 20:47:04

Rorii...you didn't mention a toxicology report. You mention autopsy and forensic reports. Never heard of a forensic report from a Coroner/medical examiner/pathologist. No, toxicology reports can be quite lengthy. You need to familiarise yourself as to what those entail.

What has the accuracy of a pistol got to do with trying to establish the mental element of an offence - or whether or not he was hit by rocks? Nothing. He could have used his bare hands to kill him. Same legal tests apply. I have noted that PN journalism  to be of an extremely high standard. What is presented in the article is an excellent rendition of the known facts - including those of witnesses. However quotes from witnesses are irrelevant, as it is the state of mind of the officer at the time which is the crucial issue. But, like I say, you don't have all the facts available to you. Turn up to the hearing you will hear them if you are that interested.

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Rorii | 11 September 2016 - 16:57:59

Joe12, toxicity reports may take a few days, but NOT 3 1/2 months, perhaps you missed that in my comment.

As for your comment to Kurt, I guess you know everything about Thai law! 
Pistols are not that accurate beyond 20m, so the cop was pretty damn close, and not hit by any rocks, on a very steep slope, I, for one, would like a few quotes, from the "witness'," with no cops in attendance, but hey, we know the media will never ask "witness'", they never do.

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Joe12 | 11 September 2016 - 00:48:40

Kurt...You have no idea of the law. I have commented before but you can't seem to understand. Generally when an officer believes on reasonable grounds/or has probable cause - that his/her life or member of the public is in immediate danger he/she may use deadly force ie shoot and kill you. 

The weapon can be anything - a taped up hand grenade; a water pistol; a stick which the officer believes to be a real firearm, or a rock - anyone with half a brain, certainly ain't going to stand around and wait for it go off or for you to shoot me. The officer can shoot you and be justified in doing so. I am surprised though, that as a good conspiracy theorist, you didn't pick up that the deceased was shot in arm and therefore was strangled later using his socks.

In this case however, you don't have all the facts available to you.

Rorii...they will have had a unofficial autopsy report, but there is no mention of the toxicology examinations being completed to make it "official" as these take longer.

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Rorii | 10 September 2016 - 16:13:16

"The trial is still ongoing. It is taking time as the court still has yet to receive the official autopsy report," so almost 3 1/2 months after the "killing" still waiting for the forensic report, seems a very long time, but given they probably don't want to charge/convict the cop then I see this going nowhere, except to blame the deceased, and let the cop off. 

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Kurt | 10 September 2016 - 12:41:19

When a run away throw a stone ( not a rock, but rock sounds nicer to justify the killing)) to a police man, the policeman should not shoot/kill.
That is not good police work, and to call that shooting self defence is to laugh about.
After all the runaway was not a dangerous thai criminal, had no lethal weapons,just a illegal person escaping detention.

And throwing a stone is not a attempted murder case.

During many demonstrations in the past in BKK, many stones were thrown, it was never treated as attempted murder.

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