Updated: DSI supports army

27 02 2011

The Bangkok Post reveals that, following a “visit to complain about an initial department [Department of Special Investigation] finding which claimed … that soldiers … be blamed for Japanese cameraman Hiroyuki Muramoto’s death during the rally at Khok Wua intersection on April 10 last year,” the DSI has conveniently changed its report.

The army is said to be “breathing a sigh of relief after a … [DSI] report concluded troops were not responsible for the death…”.

Of course DSI director-general Tharit Pengdit claims to stand by the latest report, “saying it was based on scientific and forensic findings. He also denied meeting the army chief of staff.” He claims that the unreleased report “found that the Reuters News Agency cameraman was shot dead with an AK-47 rifle while covering the clashes.”

Tharit “said Muramoto’s body was found with AK-47 bullet wound patterns. Soldiers had not used the weapon…”. Army spokesman Colonel Sansern Kaewkamnerd found it necessary to state that “soldiers did not use AK-47 rifles that day…”.

Does that mean they do use the weapon? Apparently it does: a source “said the army had imported about 20,000 AK-47 rifles into the country two decades ago.” They remain in use and storage with the army.

It is no surprise to learn that the army likes the convenient report.

The Post reminds readers that the “new findings contradict an earlier finding by the DSI which indicated that troops were probably responsible for Muramoto’s death.” It adds:

An army source said the military was not satisfied with the first conclusion and assigned army chief of staff Dapong Rattanasuwan to meet the DSI chief Tharit about two weeks ago to clear up the matter.

The army and DSI appear to have sorted the matter out to their mutual satisfaction. The impunity continues.

Update: Red shirt lawyer Robert Amsterdam has commented on what he calls a “predictable” change by the political police at DSI.





3 responses

28 02 2011
More on DSI-army collusion | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] The BBC has more on the story regarding the death of Reuters cameraman Hiroyuki Muramoto. For PPT’s earlier post, see here. […]

18 03 2011
Suthep’s claims | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] Conveniently for Suthep and Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, the DSI has now repudiated those leaked reports following considerable pressure, not least from the army. […]

25 03 2011
CPJ on Hiro Muramoto’s death | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] He said that only “new evidence” could change the verdict. Of course, earlier, following pressure from the Army’s top brass, an interim verdict holding state official responsible was […]

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