Prosecutors Indict Seven Police Officers for Torture Causing Death
Thailand’s Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) chief announced on Friday that prosecutors have decided to indict seven police officers accused of suffocating a drug suspect to death with a plastic bag.
The Attorney-General will prosecute Pol Col Thitisan Utthanaphon, a former chief in Nakhon Sawan, and fellow police officers.
Public prosecutors agreed to indict the seven policemen on four charges; malfeasance, abuse of authority, torture causing death, and coercion.
A police spokesperson said the Attorney-General would indict the men in the Central Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases next week. The charges being laid carry the maximum penalty of death.
Former Pol Col Thitisan, 30, aka Joe Ferrari is also being investigated for his extraordinary wealth. Thitisan and his six fellow police officers are accused of killing Chiraphong Thanapat, a 24-year-old drug suspect. They were allegedly trying to extort 2 million baht from him.
A video posted on Thai social media and YouTube showed Mr. Chiraphong’s with his head covered by a black plastic bag during the interrogation and that he was being suffocated.
He was officially pronounced dead the next day.
The police officers other accused are:
- Maj Rawirot Ditthong
- Capt Songyot Khlainak
- Lt Thoranin Matwanna
- Snr Sgt Maj Suphakon Nimchuen
- Snr Sgt Maj Wisut Bunkhiew
- L/C Pawikon Khammarew
All of the accused police officers have been discharged from the Royal Thai police force but they maintain their rank pending the outcome of the court cases.
Pol Col Thitisan has denied all charges and vowed to fight the case all the way to the supreme court.