Anti-Thaksin man 'shot from two directions'

national January 28, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

DR PORNTHIP ROJANASUNAND, the Justice Ministry's inspector-general and forensics expert, said yesterday that Suthin Taratin had been shot from two directions and the bullet that killed him had entered on the right side of his neck and exited through his l

Suthin, whose bathing rites were held yesterday afternoon at Wat Somanas, was a leader of the People’s Army to Overthrow the Thaksin Regime.

National police chief Pol General Adul Saengsingkaew has called on investigators to speed up their probe into the melee near the Wat Sri-iam advance polling station in Bang Na in Bangkok, during which Suthin was shot on Sunday. He also asked the investigators to find out why, despite the presence of police checkpoints, weapons were brought into the area.

The incident has caused leaders of the anti-government People’s Democratic Reform Committee to review security measures to ensure protesters’ safety, PDRC leader Issara Somchai said. He condemned the caretaker government for allowing casualties to happen and questioned why no arrests had been made yet.

Dr Niran Pitakwatchara, from the National Human Right Commission (NHRC), and Pornthip, who performed an autopsy on Suthin’s body upon his relatives’ request, said they could not yet determine the type of bullet or gun used because no bullet or shrapnel was found in his body.

Suthin’s body has four marks sustained from two gunshots – one that entered in the armpit and another that entered in the neck, Pornthip said. She added that they would need to look at reports on the examination of vehicles nearby and the wounds sustained by others for clarity.

The NHRC plans to discuss protecting people’s rights with the Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order officials tomorrow.

Police chief Adul orders speedy probe

Meanwhile, Adul has written to the police, instructing them to cooperate in a speedy investigation, to be supervised by his deputy Pol General Aek Angsananont. Adul has also assigned a fact-finding committee to see if there were any flaws in the police checkpoint in Bang Na or with the Metropolitan Police Division 5 and to come up with a result in seven days.

Aek said some 50 men from unidentified political groups travelling on motorcycles and other vehicles from Srinakarin Road had arrived at the scene, adding that no media footage or any other sources had managed to capture the gunman in the act, he added.

Deputy Metropolitan Police commissioner Maj-General Thitiraj Nonghanpitak, meanwhile, met with investigators to check on the progress they have made with examining CCTV footage, clips on social media, crime-scene investigation, as well as with interviewing witnesses. He has also urged them to base the probe mainly on the crime scene and to clearly and thoroughly cover all related details. The investigators will re-examine the scene later.

Thitiraj has also urged the police to find out how many vehicles were involved and which vehicle Suthin was in when he was fatally shot so more can be learned about the direction and the trajectory of the bullets that were fired at him. The motive has initially been claimed to be two groups fighting over different opinions. He also urged the police to summon those involved and bystanders taking clips for more details.

Police Maj-General Chayut Thanathaweerat, deputy of the Metropolitan Police, said police had found spent 11mm bullets at the scene but had yet to find the one that killed Suthin.

Deputy Army spokesman Colonel Winthai Suvaree, meanwhile, quoted Army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha as expressing sorrow over Suthin’s death and saying he would ask CMPO to tighten measures to ensure protesters’ safety.

Kanittha Duang-in, Suthin’s widow, said their five-year-old daughter was too young to realise the loss, adding that her husband was the family mainstay. She would leave resolution of the murder up to the police.

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