THE COMMITTEE tasked with solving the mystery of Tawatchai Anukul’s death while in the custody of the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) has invited medical experts to investigate why the detainee’s liver was ruptured.
The panel has also ordered a CT scan of the corpse’s skeleton to help them to identify the cause of death by next week.
After the committee met yesterday, panel head Wisit Wisitsora-at, chief of the Department of Juvenile Observation and Protection, said three experts on abdominal treatments and two on artificial resuscitation yesterday joined the panel to review the case, crime-scene photographs and the autopsy report.
The committee could not determine the cause of death yesterday because further investigation was required, he said.
“Although we have an initial idea about what might have caused the liver to rupture and larynx to fracture, we cannot reveal it until we have a clear conclusion. Some points cannot be clarified by science alone, but have to be combined with witness testimonies,” Wisit said.
He added that additional information from the Office of Police Forensic Science and Bangkok’s Thung Song Hong Police Station had not yet been submitted, but the results should be clarified by next week. He also said there was no need to perform a second autopsy on Tawatchai’s body at present.
“The panel has told the Central Institute of Forensic Science to conduct a CT scan on the corpse’s entire body, which will be done on Friday. Since the panel will have to wait for the scan results, the work timeframe could be extended by another 15 days,” he said.
However, he said, they should be able to come to a conclusion on the cause of death by next week and the panel would meet again on Tuesday.
The 66-year-old Tawatchai, who was accused of illegally issuing title deeds worth Bt10 billion, died on August 30 – one day after he was taken into custody by the DSI.
A source said the five medical experts called in yesterday were General Dr Parinya Thavichaigarn, president of the Royal College of Surgeons of Thailand; Dr Preecha Sirithongthaworn and Dr Rattaplee Pak-Art from Siriraj Hospital; and Pol Colonel Sopon Krisanarangsan and Dr Parinya Khunnawuth from the Heart Association of Thailand’s Resuscitation Council.
Meanwhile, Justice Minister General Paiboon Koomchaya called on everyone to wait for the results of the investigation.
“I believe the forensic evidence and the autopsy report will help [to clarify the cause of Tawatchai’s death] because nobody else was at the scene other than the accused … we have to wait for forensic results from the DSI, hospital and forensic science agency,” he said.
The minister said he would not interfere with either the police investigation or the DSI internal probe, adding that the guilty would be punished and justice assured.