Thai police plan to press four charges, including death by torture – a capital crime – against a former district police chief nicknamed “Jo Ferrari” and six other officers in connection with a drug suspect’s suffocation during an interrogation, officials said Tuesday.
The police investigation’s report and case file will be handed to the prosecution on Wednesday, according to Gen. Suchart Teerasawat, the deputy national police chief.
Thitisan Utthanaphon, a former police colonel who led the Muang district police station in Nakhon Sawan province, and six of his fellow officers were arrested or turned themselves in after a video posted online showed them allegedly putting plastic bags over the suspect’s head on Aug. 6, beating him and demanding a bribe of 2 million baht (U.S. $60,700).
“Re Jo’s case, we have a conclusion today … seven suspects being seven policemen, have been charged with malfeasance, misconduct, joint murder by means of torture and group coercion,” Suchart told reporters, referring to Thitisan by his nickname.
On Aug. 30, a hospital in Nakhon Sawan changed its original autopsy report to note that the suspect, Jirapong Tanapat, 24, had died of suffocation and not a drug overdose. The second autopsy’s findings were confirmed last month.
The capital-crime charge could carry the death penalty if the seven are convicted, according to Thailand’s penal code. All seven suspects have been remanded to a Bangkok prison.
Full story: BenarNews
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