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.
“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.