“The investigation is still ongoing and it has yet to conclude,” Phuket City Police Chief Col Theerawat Liamsuwan told The Phuket News this morning.
Col Theerawat confirmed that the initial charge of negligence causing the death presented against a second-year student over the incident remains.
No other new charges have been presented against anyone, or the university, he also confirmed.
“We are still working to our own deadline,” Col Theerawat assured, but declined to answer when he expected the investigation to conclude.
Col Theerawat declined to reveal any other details about the investigation.
“For more details, please ask Phuket Provincial Police Deputy Commander Col Witoon Kongsudjai,” he said.
Col Witoon is the leading officer at the Phuket Provincial Police overseeing the investigation.
The Phuket News called Col Witoon this morning, but he also declined to comment about the investigation into Nong Mint’s death
“Please ask Col Theerawat about it,” he said, before terminating the conversation.
The stall in the investigation follows Col Theerawat on Sept 25 telling state news agency MCOT, “There will be a meeting of the investigation committees in the coming week, in order to conclude whether any lecturer or university staff will be charged for ignoring their duty or not.”
Col Witoon later confirmed that the meeting was held on Sept 24, but declined to reval any details from that meeting.
Col Witoon also urged people to understand that the investigation would take time.
However, that call for patience follows deputy national police chief Pol Maj Gen Suchart Theerasawat announcing at Phuket City Police Station on Aug 24, “This case should take a short time to process, and if the medical results come quickly, the case can be prosecuted and closed.”
Maj Gen Suchart had travelled to Phuket to be personally updated on the investigation following Nong Mint’s death becoming major national news amid concerns of hazing being allowed at the Phuket university, as only Nong Mint and other first-year students were ordered to run as punishment for making mistakes during the cheerleading practice.
Doctors have reported to police that Nong Mint’s death was brought on by insufficient blood supply to the heart, leading to heart failure.
There was no explanation of what had caused the heart failure, which is apparently still under investigation – despite widespread initial reports of Nong Mint’s death explaining that the young student had been ordered to run laps around the pond on campus, which has a perimeter of one kilometre. Nong Mint reportedly collapsed during her eighth lap.
She was ordered to run the laps as punishment for making mistakes during cheerleading practice.
The university has consistently denied that Nong Mint died from any form of hazing, although it has since been confirmed that only first-year students who made mistakes during the cheerleading practice were ordered to run laps.
The university also maintains that Nong Mint and the other first-year students were ordered to run laps around the car park where the cheerleading practice was held, and not around the campus pond.