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No murder, but suspicions in Tawatchai death

BANGKOK: Thung Song Hong Police Chief Mana Phochuai said authorities could not discard the possibility that land fraud suspect Tawatchai Anukul was killed by others.

crime, death, land, police, violence,


Bangkok Post

Thursday 22 September 2016, 09:17AM


The DSI’s detention room where land fraud suspect Tawatchai Anukul allegedly hanged himself using his socks. Photo: Tawatchai Kemgumnerd
The DSI’s detention room where land fraud suspect Tawatchai Anukul allegedly hanged himself using his socks. Photo: Tawatchai Kemgumnerd

Col Mana said yesterday (Sept 21) after a four-hour meeting with Pornchai Sutheerakun, head of the Institute of Forensic Medicine at the Royal Thai Police, that details regarding Mr Thawatchai’s autopsy indicated his ribs were broken and liver ruptured.

Col Mana did not disclose more details.

“From gathering evidence in the past 21-22 days, we can prove that it was possible Mr Tawatchai was likely killed by others but could not say whether it was murder. Further investigation is needed,” Col Mana said.

Meanwhile, Thawatchai Mekprasertsuk, chief of the Central Police Forensic Science Division (CPFSD), said the division had forwarded to Thung Song Hong police investigators the results of its test of DNA and fingerprints collected from the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) detention room where the land fraud suspect was found.

Investigators were expected to compare that evidence with the DNA of two people found on the socks believed to have been used by Mr Tawatchai to allegedly hang himself.

Also, a team of experts found in a preliminary inspection of footage from the DSI’s security camera system that the footage showed no signs of having been edited or doctored, said Maj Gen Thawatchai.

The team was expected to complete its probe and forward results and footage to investigators by tomorrow (Sept 23), he said.

Meanwhile, Mongkutwattana Hospital yersterday insisted yet again that Mr Tawatchai’s ribs weren’t broken or his liver ruptured while being treated at the hospital.

In his response to a remark by forensic expert Khunying Porntip Rojanasunan that Mr Thawatchai’s ribs weren’t broken and his liver wasn’t ruptured while he was at the DSI, hospital director Rienthong Nanna insisted Mr Tawatchai did not sustain the trauma at the hospital either. This has thrown the case into further doubt.

A previous autopsy conducted at the Police General Hospital revealed Mr Tawatchai suffered abdominal haemorrhaging and had a ruptured liver, possibly as a result of being hit by a solid, blunt object.

That has stirred up controversy regarding whether he committed suicide or was murdered while in detention, prompting the Justice Ministry to launch a probe into the actual cause of his death. EARLIER REPORT

Police investigators said yesterday it was possible former land official Tawatchai Anukul could have died by a third hand, but denied he was murdered.

The conclusion came after Maj Gen Pornchai Suthirakhun, chief of the Institute of Forensic Medicine at Police General Hospital, and other medical personnel who did the autopsy on the land fraud suspect were interrogated for four hours.

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“Based on the evidence, there are indications that it’s possible that Mr Tawatchai’s death is likely caused by another person. But I must stress that it was not a murder,” Col Mana Porchuay, chief of Thung Song Hong police station, said.

“The investigation will expand to cover all people involved.”

Col Mana said officers had discussed the ruptured liver and broken ribs issues with coroners, but he declined to give details. He said the investigation at this stage related to the autopsy results and no allegation would be made against anyone. The probe aimed to determine whether Mr Tawatchai committed suicide or was killed by someone else, either accidentally or with lethal intent. 

The 66-year-old Mr Tawatchai, who had been detained on charges of allegedly issuing unlawful land ownership documents in Phuket and Phang Nga, was found hanging in the detention room on the sixth floor of the DSI’s headquarters in the early hours of Aug 30. An autopsy released by the Institute of Forensic Medicine, part of the Police General Hospital, linked his death to abdominal haemorrhaging caused by a ruptured liver from being hit with a solid, blunt object, and asphyxiation from hanging.

Suspicions arose immediately about whether he was murdered or committed suicide, and were subsequently fuelled by the contributing causes of death listed in the autopsy report, especially involving his liver injury.

Mongkutwattana General Hospital director Rienthong Nanna yesterday said the injury to the liver of the former land official did not occur while he was under the hospital’s care.

“During the time Tawatchai Anukul was in the Critical Care Unit, there was no incident that could pose a possible danger to Mr Tawatchai’s liver,” Maj Gen Rienthong poste on his Facebook page. 

According to Maj Gen Rienthong, between the time Mr Tawatchai was X-rayed at 2:20am until his body was moved out of the Critical Care Unit at 7:51am, to be sent to the Forensic Medicine Institute, there were no signs of broken ribs or ruptured liver which were mentioned in the autopsy report.

He again denied the DSI’s earlier suggestion that the ruptured liver may have been caused by pressure from CPR performed on Mr Tawatchai. He said medics performed CPR on him on three sessions between 3:20am and 3:41am, with the first session lasting 30 seconds and the last two lasting two minutes each.

Maj Gen Rienthong invited forensic expert Khunying Porntip Rojanasunan, and members of her fact-finding committee looking into the alleged suicide of Mr Tawatchai, plus other medical specialists to check the hospital’s CCTV camera footage which showed what happened since the former land official was brought in, and to question concerned hospital staff, in order to help them clarify contentious issues to the public.

“The length is more than 5 hours and a half. No editing. It shows actual events in efforts to save (Mr Tawatchai’s) life,” the message said.

Read original story here.

 

 

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Rorii | 24 September 2016 - 17:18:09

Joe12, I agree with the word "reporting" but not with "excellent", that would entail some serious INVESTIGATIVE reporting, as we know, this NEVER happens, I'm not sure if you work for PN, or not, but hey, they should award you with a medal.

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Joe12 | 24 September 2016 - 16:22:20

Jogi...if you read my comments, "The excellent reporting of information as it becomes available, has been clear and unequivocal" I fail to see how you find it comical. Common sense would tell you, that the initial autopsy report which was written by eminent Doctors with many years of University study and practice, was clear and unequivocal. Because of the controversy it was found on investigation that the internal injuries were caused later. This finding does not detract nor deviate from the initial autopsy report. 

If you read also, "it could be an accident and not caused by human intervention." Still pretty clear and unequivocal to me.

Can't help you further if you can't understand that. 

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jogi | 24 September 2016 - 15:35:44

that Tawatchai could died tru the hand of hospital staff, because the Xray at 02.20 show's no raptured liver or broken ribs, is this a script to a new thai government comedy? by suspected suicide by hanging xray's will be for brooken neck and larynx. only after foresic tests 5 1/2 hours later they found raptured liver and broken ribs. that he could die by the hand of a other person but it may was not murder (Col. Mana government comedian): the script to this comedy. Tawatchai lie'd on his back, a fly was sitting on top of his liver. somebody, from DSI or a other nice guy chase'd the fly. the fly move'd to his chest (Rib's) the nice guy chase'd the fly a second time, (with his sledge-hammer)    hey Joe12 this is not a conspiracy theory, this is sarcasm about thai crime investigation

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Joe12 | 22 September 2016 - 16:21:38

The excellent reporting of information as it becomes available, has been clear and unequivocal, so I don't see any problems with the progress of the investigation as it unfolds.

Bjay...he was also in the care of the hospital as well at which time he sustained the injury to his liver and chest. No doubt we are going to have the conspiracy theorist, Kurt saying it was the Doctors who killed him...or someone at the hospital. 

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Bjay | 22 September 2016 - 13:59:38

The guy was in custody of the DSI so who else could have killed him? The mind boggles!

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Seaturtle55 | 22 September 2016 - 13:43:59

Incredible....this is beginning to look like the denials one might encounter upon questioning a scared 8 year old child who was found standing alone in a room to which only he had access, beside a smashed priceless statue...."Honest, it must have smashed itself...I didn't do anything!!!"

“Based on the evidence, there are indications that it’s possible that Mr Tawatchai’s death is likely caused by another person. But I must stress that it was not a murder,”  
Heavens, no!! Of course not...it was two Burmese migrant workers who must have done this...if it was murder, but I stress that it was not!!  
Good Lord...if this account were submitted to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association of America,this would qualify only under a newly defined class of fiction called Impossible Fantasy Stories! Naturally, the title would be "Tragic Tales of Farcical Farces - a Black Humour Series". 

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Joe12 | 22 September 2016 - 13:41:21

Kurt...No biggy "how someone even have a chance to hang himself". Not unless someone was looking at him all the time - which you don't know.

"..with broken ribs and ruptured liver" if you read the articles, between the time Thawatchai was X-rayed at 2.20am until his body was moved out of the Critical Care Unit at 7.51am, to be sent to the Forensic Medicine Institute, there were no signs of broken ribs or ruptured liver. In other words there was no broken ribs or ruptured liver whilst in DSI custody, so what you say as usual is wrong.

There you go again rubbishing Thai people. "Denying, thai specialism. You can come quite far with that nonsense in this country." The statement "could have died by third hand, but denied it was murder" is a fact. In other words, it could be an accident and not caused by human intervention. 

And then the coup de gras, "just silenced for ever in a stupid way."  as would any good conspiracy theorist would remark. Why let a few facts get in the way of a good theory. There are a number of eminent scientists and doctors and investigators investigating the matter yet the conspiracy theorist and idiots have all the answers. 

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Kurt | 22 September 2016 - 10:44:15

We see again a very 'open and transparent' detention room.
It is a big question how someone even have a chance to hang himself with his own socks in such room.
And doing so with broken ribs and ruptured liver.

I was laughing when I red:.."could have died by third hand, but denied it was murder"..
Typical thai. Denying, thai specialism. 
You can come quite far with that nonsense in this country.

A healthy smiling man ( photographed by thai press) enters a DSI detention center, and a few hours later , after hanging in a detention room with a complete front glass wall, get rushed to hospital with broken ribs and ruptured liver.

How to brake your own ribs and rupture your own liver in a glass wall detention room first and than try to hang yourself?

Is it not clear that this man was just silenced for ever in a stupid way?
He was able to hide 12-13 years for the law ( with help of influential people). 
But once they got him, the same influential people decided a 'over & out' for him.

Of course he was ( half/half) killed by others.
And in a very silly unprofessional way.

Now, who was responsible for his well being in that DSI detention center?
Responsible?  Huh?  What is that? We not have such in Thailand. 

This is a big test case for the present Government, to get the truth at the surface.

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