THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

Thawatchai death probe gets outside examiners

BANGKOK: Independent medical examiners will join an investigation into the death of land fraud suspect Thawatchai Anukul, who died mysteriously while in custody, to ensure transparency.

landpropertycorruptionhomicidedeathcrimepolice
By Bangkok Post

Saturday 3 September 2016, 11:26AM


A coffin containing the body of Thawatchai Anukul is moved from Wat Bang Luang in Pathum Thani to the morgue in Thammasat Hospital for storage after the family decided to delay the cremation indefinitely until the questions surrounding his death are cleared up. Photo: Bangkok Post / Pongpat Wongyala

A coffin containing the body of Thawatchai Anukul is moved from Wat Bang Luang in Pathum Thani to the morgue in Thammasat Hospital for storage after the family decided to delay the cremation indefinitely until the questions surrounding his death are cleared up. Photo: Bangkok Post / Pongpat Wongyala

Justice Minister Gen Paiboon Koomchaya said the ministry is admitting medical examiners from state hospitals to the investigation into the suspect’s death which has triggered speculation about possible foul play.

Thawatchai, 66, was a key suspect in several land fraud cases and was allegedly involved in unlawfully issuing land deeds to wealthy people.

He was arrested in Nonthaburi province on Monday (Aug 29) after having been on the run for almost a decade for his alleged role in numerous land fraud cases in Phuket and Phang Nga.

According to the Department of Special Investigation (DSI), Thawatchai tried to commit suicide by hanging himself with a pair of socks while in detention on the sixth floor of the DSI’s headquarters on Chaeng Watthana Rd in the early hours of Tuesday. He died later at the nearby Mongkutwattana Hospital.

However, a document issued by the Police General Hospital which performed the autopsy indicates the cause of death was “abdominal haemorrhaging and a ruptured liver from being hit by a solid, blunt object together with asphyxiation from hanging”.

According to Gen Paiboon, the move for medical examiner participation was initiated by Ministry of Justice Permanent Secretary Charnchao Chaiyanukij, who wants other independent agencies to take part in the inquiry into the death of the land fraud suspect and believes the DSI, which is under the supervision of the Justice Ministry, should not single-handedly carry out the investigation.

Gen Paiboon said three DSI officials who were on duty when Thawatchai allegedly tried to commit suicide have been questioned and put through lie detector tests. The results of the tests have not been disclosed.

The justice minister said however the victim’s family was not invited to observe the questioning, so he instructed those in charge to allow Thawatchai’s family to have access to the investigation whenever appropriate.

Mr Charnchao said yesterday that a ministry-level committee will be established to look into Thawatchai’s death and their conclusions are expected within two weeks.

He said the ministry will invite medical examiners from major hospitals to serve as advisers while Thawatchai’s family will be allowed access to every step of the inquiry.

Thawatchai’s body is being kept at the Thammasat Hospital morgue in Pathum Thani after his cremation was postponed, the justice permanent secretary said. However, he noted that a second autopsy may not be necessary.

Splash Beach Club

Thawatchai’s family on Thursday decided to postpone the cremation indefinitely until the suspicious circumstances surrounding his death were cleared up.

DSI Director-General Paisit Wongmuang said medical examiners from Chulalongkorn Hospital, Siriraj Hospital and Rama Hospital will be asked to join the probe.

However, he said the DSI’s internal probe will proceed and the results will be announced when it is completed.

The DSI chief denied security cameras were removed from the detention room on the day Thawatchai died and said the DSI offices are open to inspection.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said yesterday he had instructed authorities concerned to ensure transparency in the probe, while urging the public not to rush to conclusions.

“If the circumstances are not normal, they will have to investigate. The justice minister is on the case and I’ve asked authorities concerned to look at it. Just let them work first,” he said.

He also allayed concerns that the land fraud cases would be closed following Thawatchai’s death which has triggered speculation he might have been “silenced” to kill the case investigations.

Gen Prayut said authorities concerned are pursuing the cases and action would be taken against those implicated in any wrongdoing, including both state officials and investors.

Pol Maj Gen Charoen Sirsaslak, Commander of Metropolitan Police Division 2, said the division has launched a probe into Thawatchai’s death.

 

Read original story here.

 

 

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:

Ed Sanders | 03 September 2016 - 22:07:21

Thus is just another ruse by Thai officials to make it look like someone actually cares what happened to the crooked Khun Thawatchai.  You should know that the poor guy was iced to protect even bigger criminals...some of which could very well be Thai officials and/or police.  I'll go out on a limb here, and guess that the conclusion of this silly investigation will be "No pobpem, he do su...

Kurt | 03 September 2016 - 12:16:11

Great! Lets hope that all professional involvements clear the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death in custody.
Their conclusions are expected within 2 weeks. Look forward for that.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
B1bn earmarked to improve road safety around schools

Waste of a billion THB, with the biggest benefits being the lining of pockets. Officials once again...(Read More)


Israeli tourist seriously injured in speedboat, jet ski collision off Khai Nok

Dangerous machines that continue to be for offer with no regard for license, training...nothing...ju...(Read More)


His Majesty sends flowers to Finnish boy, 5, attacked by stray dogs at Ao Nang

The only some help give this familie lifetime visa, and this are a BIG news in scandinavien and not ...(Read More)


Taxi driver charged after collision with motorbike leaves man, 74, dead

It is about time that Phuket RTP officers have to answer in Court for their funny actions. I think ...(Read More)


Taxi driver charged after collision with motorbike leaves man, 74, dead

Jor-12 is right. A pity that the motorbike driver was not having a by law required vehicle, no helme...(Read More)


Phuket Town Mayor announces water-restriction plans ‘in case of drought’

No panic, no panic. Yearly from January - April/May, 'we' have dry conditions. Don't bla...(Read More)


Phuket City Municipality issues second water rationing warning, urges residents to conserve water

Hahaha, the thai water massage issue started! They all know it so well to describe, but do nothing d...(Read More)


Israeli tourist seriously injured in speedboat, jet ski collision off Khai Nok

The insurance matter doesn't need to be explained. More important is that running away speed bo...(Read More)


Phuket officials ramp up fight against Chikungunya

Prevent a outbreak? The outbreak is already there. The big joke is: Only 410,211 people officially ...(Read More)


Taxi driver charged after collision with motorbike leaves man, 74, dead

Well no, it's correct charges like this that serves to reinforce proper driving habits. Doesn...(Read More)