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DSI combs six locations in Porlajee murder case

DSI combs six locations in Porlajee murder case

BANGKOK: The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) yesterday (Oct 10) conducted an aerial inspection of six locations to search for more clues related to the murder of Karen rights activist Porlajee “Billy” Rakchongcharoen, DSI Director-General Paisit Wongmuang said.

crimedeathpolicecorruption
By Bangkok Post

Friday 11 October 2019, 09:41AM


DSI Chief Paisit Wongmuang (right) visits Pinnapa Pruksapan (left), wife of murdered Karen rights activist Porlajee ‘Billy’ Rakchongcharoen, at Ban Padeng in Phetchaburi’s Kaeng Krachan district to inform her of the progress made in the murder investigation. Photo: Watcharawit Phudork / Bangkok Post

DSI Chief Paisit Wongmuang (right) visits Pinnapa Pruksapan (left), wife of murdered Karen rights activist Porlajee ‘Billy’ Rakchongcharoen, at Ban Padeng in Phetchaburi’s Kaeng Krachan district to inform her of the progress made in the murder investigation. Photo: Watcharawit Phudork / Bangkok Post

He said the DSI was stepping up efforts to look for more evidence, adding the probe is expected to wrap up by December.

Pol Col Paisit said the DSI had received a report from a Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) sub-committee which is investigating a group of Kaeng Krachan national park officials who said they had detained Porlajee for allegedly collecting forest honey. However, they failed to hand Porlajee to police on April 17, 2014 – the day of his disappearance.

The officials said they failed to hand Porlajee over to Kaeng Krachan police for prosecution because they said Porlajee had been at odds with local police and PACC investigators.

However, the DSI found the witnesses questioned by the sub-panel gave contradicting statements which is why the DSI called Pol Maj Siripong Sritula, a PACC division head who chairs the sub-committee, for questioning. Due to the clashing statements, the DSI asked the Royal Thai Police for a helicopter to inspect six locations in the park to seek more evidence and check on the witnesses’ statements.

The PACC report sent to the DSI includes forensic evidence, security camera footage, and communication information on the day of Porlajee's disappearance. Col Paisit said the probe is expected to be wrapped up by Dec 3 before the case is forwarded to the prosecution.

At the time of his arrest, Porlajee was helping fellow ethnic Karen forest dwellers sue Chaiwat Limlikit-aksorn, then head of the park in Kanchanaburi province, for setting fire to their bamboo huts and rice barns during a series of forest evictions.

In May, Border Patrol Police divers searching an area of the Kaeng Krachan reservoir found an oil barrel containing bone fragments.

DNA tests on one fragment, from a human skull, confirmed a match with Porlajee’s mother, leading to the assumption the bone fragments belonged to Porlajee and that he had been murdered.

 

Read original story here.

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