CHIANGRAI TIMES – Italian photographer Fabio Polenghi, 48, was killed in May 2010 by Thai government officials, Bangkok’s Metropolitan Police Bureau concluded.
There is strong evidence that the death of Fabio Polenghi was caused by state authorities, Pol Maj Gen Anuchai Lekbamrung, who heads the investigation, told Bangkok Post.
Polenghi was killed on May 19, 2010 while reporting the street protests in Bangkok, Thailand.
In early March 2010, anti-government protesters converged on the capital to press demands for Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to call new elections.
As the situation escalated, the Abhisit government used the military to crackdown on protests. As a result, at least 90 people lost their lives, including 2 foreigners: Polenghi and a Japanese reporter for Reuters named Hiro Muramoto.
Initially, the Washington Post reported Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban claiming that Polenghi had been killed by a grenade launched from a “terrorist” M79 grenade launcher and “died side-by-side” with a soldier.
However, numerous reports and photos immediately pointed to the fact that Polenghi was shot. In addition, autopsy results showed that the Italian died from a high-velocity bullet that entered the heart, and caused damage to his lungs and liver, Thailand’s daily Thai Rath reported.
Consequently, Polenghi’s family, the Italian Embassy in Bangkok and the Commeettee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) asked for “a thorough and transparent inquiry.”
Now, after having concluded that the killers of Polenghi were not the protesters but the soldiers, the case will be forwarded to prosecutors early next month, Pol Maj Gen Anuchai said.-By Alessio Fratticcioli