Witnesses will testify in another three hearings scheduled for Feb 27, March 6 and March 20 next year.
Prosecutors last week filed a petition with the court seeking an inquest into the death of the 66-year-old former official attached to the Phuket and Phang Nga land offices after the examination of an autopsy report and inquiries of people involved by Thung Song Hong police concluded that Tawatchai Anukul’s death was caused by another person but might not have been a murder.
Section 48 of the Criminal Procedures Code stipulates that an inquest shall be held if there is reasonable ground to suspect that any person has died an unnatural death while being kept under authorities’ custody.
An autopsy conducted at Police General Hospital indicated Tawatchai suffered abdominal haemorrhaging and a ruptured liver, possibly the results of being hit by a solid, blunt object. This raised suspicions about claims he had committed suicide.
The court will determine the cause of death only, and whether it may or may not identify the person causing the death will depend on the evidence.
Tawatchai reportedly tried to commit suicide by hanging himself with a pair of socks while being detained on the sixth floor of the Department of Special Investigation’s head office on Chaeng Watthana Rd in the early hours of Aug 30 following his arrest in Nonthaburi on charges of unlawfully granting land ownership documents in Phuket and Phang Nga. He died later at nearby Mongkutwattana Hospital.
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