Updated: Soldiers, deaths and unlikely coincidences

5 09 2017

After quite a period of media silence, The Nation reports that the case of murdered activist Chaiyapoom Pasae is finally seeing some legal movement.

It is reported that the Chiang Mai Provincial Court will be handling Chaiyapoom’s case and another involving the death of Abe Sae Moo. Both cases involve soldiers are accused of using excessive force. Both were “killed at the Ban Rin Luang military checkpoint in Chiang Mai’s Chiang Dao district earlier this year.”

Public prosecutors have finally “asked the court to look into the deaths.”

The first hearing on Chaiyapoom’s case took place on Monday. Sumitchai Hattasarn, who is a lawyer from the Centre for Protection and Revival of Local Community Rights and representing the dead boy’s parents, said he had “prepared 10 witnesses for this case in a bid to get to the truth…”.

On the other side, “public prosecutors had prepared 45 witnesses for the soldiers.” The defense claims will be to self defense on the part of soldiers.

After Abe was shot on 15 February, the military claimed soldiers had shot him “in self defence because Abe was about to throw a grenade as he fled in a drug case.”

No soldier blushed with shame when following the shooting of Chaiyapoom on 17 March, this was also claimed to be an act of self defense because Chaiyapoom ” pulled out a grenade at the checkpoint after the discovery of drugs in his car.”

Remarkable coincidences indeed. Some have suggested it was the same grenade and probably belongs to the soldiers involved.

We remain in the dark over the CCTV footage that the police and military claim was available. What has happened with that?

Update: Prachatai has a report that comments on what it calls “withheld evidence.” It states:

The lawyer [for Chaiyapoom’s family] said that he is concerned about the CCTV footage of the crime scene which is a prime evidence on the case because he does not know whether the military has given the footage to prosecutor as yet or not.

That’s almost six months after Chaiyapoom was killed and over five months since the military stated it had handed the CCTV footage to police investigators.

Everyone smells a rat, and it is probably a fat one in a camouflage uniform.


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6 responses

30 10 2017
After the funeral, more of the same | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] murders remain unresolved, with a recent tragic example of Chaiyapoom Pasae, shot by troops in very opaque circumstances and with the “investigations” adding farce […]

30 10 2017
After the funeral, more of the same | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] murders remain unresolved, with a recent tragic example of Chaiyapoom Pasae, shot by troops in very opaque circumstances and with the “investigations” adding farce […]

29 11 2017
Callous to all | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] or “clear” in anything. Think of the “investigation” of Chaiyapoom Pasae’s murder. That also included attention to […]

29 11 2017
Callous to all | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] or “clear” in anything. Think of the “investigation” of Chaiyapoom Pasae’s murder. That also included attention to […]

11 08 2018
Murder and the failure of the justice system | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] five months after the military first stated it had handed the CCTV footage to police investigators, a lawyer for Chaiyapoom’s family said he was concerned about the CCTV footage which was prime evidence. He said he did not know […]

11 08 2018
Murder and the failure of the justice system | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] five months after the military first stated it had handed the CCTV footage to police investigators, a lawyer for Chaiyapoom’s family said he was concerned about the CCTV footage which was prime evidence. He said he did not know […]