Tampering with evidence

4 02 2011

The Nation has a useful article that links with two PPT posts, one on Phayao and Natthaputt Akkahad  being refused visas by the UK embassy in Bangkok and the second on seemingly stalled investigations into the events of April and May 2010.

Medic Kamolkade Akkahad was shot in front of Wat Pathum Wanaram when state forces “dispersed” red shirts from Rajaprasong on 19 May. Her mother, Phayao, appeared before a sub-panel of the regime-established  Truth for Reconciliation Commission chaired by lawyer Somchai Homlaor. This was the first time Phayao had been called before the Committee, 8 months after her daughter’s murder.

Phayao told the that she “has lost faith in the government, especially the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) and forensic expert Khunying Porntip Rojanasunand.” She accused the “DSI and Porntip of trying to cover up crimes allegedly committed by soldiers. She believed they had a conflict of interest, as they were also part of the Centre for Resolution of the Emergency Situation (CRES), which was in charge of the crackdown but has since been disbanded.”

Phayao “accused Porntip of tampering and altering evidence relating her daughter’s death, such as forensic records of bullet wounds. She said the bullets had somehow disappeared.” Pointedly, she added: “And now Porntip is quiet…”. Referring to DSI chief Tharit Pengdit’s role in CRES, “Phayao accused the organisation of trying to say most deaths were caused by red shirts themselves.”

Phayao said she had been threatened and offered bribes to cease pursuing her daughter’s case. She remained committed to seeking the truth.

As a footnote, sub-panel chair Somchai re-confirmed that the military still refused cooperation in its investigations: “We have yet to receive the [military] cooperation. There’s no answer [from the Army].”… He added that he had now asked “the government to help it get Army officers involved in the crackdown to speak to the subcommittee.”



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16 02 2011
TRC sees a soldier | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] shown up to speak with the  Truth for Reconciliation Committee’s fact-finding sub-committee. Reader’s may recall that just a week or so ago, no soldier had been permitted to talk with the administration’s […]

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