DSI says liver may have been damaged when officers applied CPR when they tried to revive the suspect.
THE AUTOPSY of a suspect in an illegal land-deed registration case showed that he had died of a ruptured liver, contrasting earlier statements by the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) that he had committed suicide by hanging himself with a pair of socks.
The DSI defended itself yesterday, saying officers did not have any motive to torture Tawatchai Anukul as the department already had clear evidence against him. It said his liver may have been damaged when officers applied cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) when they tried to revive him.
Chainarong Anukul, Tawatchai’s brother, disclosed the results of the autopsy performed at the Police General Hospital, which indicated a blunt injury and suffocation.
He also expressed doubts about conflicting statements issued by the DSI.
“The family believes in the autopsy result and does not want to file any complaint against the DSI, but we still doubt the information given by DSI officers about my brother’s death. The security guard said my brother tore his shirt to hang himself, but another officer said he used his socks,” Chainarong said.
He added that the family had asked the DSI to check surveillance camera footage, but an officer had said the area was not covered by CCTV.
Meanwhile, DSI director-general Pol Colonel Paisit Wongmuang said he had not yet received the autopsy report, but had ordered officers to check surveillance cameras near the detention rooms to see who had entered the area during the time of the incident.
“I’ll ask the doctor if the liver rupture could have been caused by intense pressure during CPR, as the officer who performed the CPR was in a hurry may have administered the CPR improperly,” Paisit said.
Dr Wittawat Siriprachai, a former director of Koh Lanta Hospital, said a CPR performed in the wrong position could result in internal injuries such as broken ribs and the rupture of the spleen or liver, but such injuries were usually inflicted by untrained people, not officers who had proper lifesaving training. A person would have to be hit with intense force, such as a collision with a car or a very hard kick or punch to the body, to have his or her liver ruptured, he added.
Another doctor who asked to remain anonymous said CPR could not cause injury to the liver because the heart and liver were in different parts of the body.
Forensic Science Office chief Pol Maj-General Thawatchai Mekprasert-suk said forensic officers had inspected the scene and not found any traces of violence. The suspect’s body did bear any marks of injuries or having been beaten, he added.
“We only found traces on the detention room door that the suspect used his socks to hang himself on the door hinge,” Thawatchai said.
DSI deputy director-general Pol Colonel Songsak Raksaksakul denied allegations that the key suspect in the illegal land-deed registration case was assassinated.
“As suspected by Tawatchai’s family, there were many people who wanted to silence him. But I insist, that no matter who wanted the suspect dead, it definitely was not the action of a DSI officer,” Somsak said.
“It is true that the masterminds of unlawful encroachment into public land in Phuket and Phang-nga is a powerful local mafia network, but Tawatchai made no mention about this.”
Pol Lt-Colonel Prawut Wongseenin, DSI Consumer Protection and Environment Crime Bureau director, said Tawatchai had committed suicide because of the stress resulting from the criminal proceedings against him.
Paisit also emphasised that the DSI had not tortured Tawatchai during interrogation, adding his family members were present until evening and would have known if torture was employed during the interrogation.
His brother Chainarong said a one-night funeral had been arranged at Wat Bang Luang Temple in Pathum Thani and Tawatchai’s body would be cremated today.