The chief investigator in the hunt for the killers of Karen rights activist Porlajee “Billy” Rakchongcharoen said Wednesday that his sudden promotion out of the DSI would not derail the “Billy”case.
Korrawat Panprapakorn, deputy director-general of the Department of Special Investigation (DSI), said the case remained alive. Investigators would continue their efforts to find those responsible, after finding evidence last month confirming that Billy” was murdered.
Pol Lt Col Korrawat is the lead investigator in the case. He was speaking for the first time since cabinet approved a ministry proposal to transfer him out of the DSI on Tuesday.He was transferred to the post of inspector-general at the Justice Ministry. The promotion will become effective after it receives royal endorsement.
The announcement sparked doubts over the future of the long-running murder case. Billy went missing in Kaeng Krachan National Park in Phetchaburi in 2004. There have been no arrests.
Pol Lt Col Korrawat’s comments were clearly intended to reassure doubters, the Bangkok Post reported.
The outgoing senior DSI official is expected to meet with his team of investigators for the last time next week.
He did not name the person who will take over the case when he leaves.
Pol Lt Col Korrawat admitted he was worried that Porajee’s wife, Pinnapa Prueksapan, and her family would be disappointed over his transfer.
Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin on Wednesday said the transfer was a reward for Pol Lt Col Korrawat’s efforts. He was being promoted from C9 to C10 level in his new position as an inspector-general at the ministry.
Porlajee “Billy” Rakchongcharoen Murdered
Billy was last seen in Kaeng Krachan National Park on April 17, 2014 when he was apprehended by the park chief. For the alleged illegal collection of wild bee honeycomb and honey from the forest.
His disappearance will now be treated as a murder the DSI officials said. Adding that they already had suspects in mind but need more time to gather solid evidence.
Former National Human Rights Commission Angkhana Neelapaijit posted on Facebook, that the discovery of Billy, was bitterly sad, but a step towards justice. And that Billy’s case, as he could no longer be deemed a “missing”persons case.