The Ratchadapisek Criminal Court in Bangkok on Friday postponed the announcement of a Supreme Court verdict on 11 police officers accused of abducting a 58-year-old businesswoman in 2005 in a bid to coerce a confession to a drug crime.
The delay resulted from a guilty plea from one of the defendants, Pol Sergeant Major Wanphadet Thaenrat, who is hoping for a lighter sentence.
The 10 other officers have maintained their innocence.
All 11 defendants, who have been free on bail, were in court on Friday, but the plaintiff was not.
The reading of the Supreme Court verdict was first postponed on March 22 because defendants Pol Colonel Saming Rodratsa and Pol Sergeant Major Sasithorn Thapsuree were absent due to illness.
Saming held a major’s rank at the time of the incident and was inspector at Phayathai station, where all of the accused worked.
Krongkan Thin-on filed suit against the 11 officers following the June 16, 2005, incident, accusing them of abusing their authority, forging documents in a criminal case, filing a false drug charge, coercion by threat to life, liberty or property, and illegal detention.
She contends the officers arrested her without a warrant, using force and weapons. She claims they demanded that she confess to possessing 100 methamphetamine pills with intent to sell.
Krongkan claims she refused to confess and was taken to her warehouse, which was searched but contained nothing illegal. She says the officers then conspired to produce an arrest report and related documents and forced her to sign a confession.
The Primary Court in December 2009 found six of the officers guilty on all charges – Wanphadet, Saming, Saming’s deputy inspector at the time Pol Lt Colonel Pansak Woraboonsawat (then a captain), Pol Sergeant Major Boonreung Butwong, Pol Sergeant Major Rung Thipkham and Pol Corporal Sutham Yaemchauy.
They were sentenced to five years’ imprisonment.
Sasithorn and Pol Sergeant Major Auychai Thapsuree and Sasithorn got four years for abuse of authority and producing forged documents as state officials.
Pol Captain Kittipong Simmalee and Pol Sergeants Major Pinyo Saengthip and Apitak Kaewkleun were acquitted.
The Appeals Court in August 2013 reduced the sentences for Saming, Pansak, Boonreung and Wanphadet to four years and for Rung and Sutham to three years and acquitted Auychai and Sasithorn, while upholding the acquittal of the other three men.