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Army calm about soldiers facing charges

Army-police relations remain intact, despite the police having obtained arrest warrants for four soldiers following allegations they were part of a team that shot red-shirt leader Kwanchai Praipana (Sarakham) last month.

Leading police investigators met and explained the case to Army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha and promised justice and transparency in the case.

National police chief Pol Gen Adul Saengsingkaew yesterday quoted Prayuth as saying the Army would give full cooperation and that the two agencies' ties remained strong.

An informed source said a lieutenant-colonel, who could not yet be reached by his supervisors, was suspected of having masterminded the attack.

Ninth Infantry Division commander Maj Gen Pairoj Thongma-eng said he received a letter summonsing his accused officers for questioning, not a letter for them to hear charges. Confirming the accused were with the division but adding that it had nothing to do with their alleged action, he said finding a motive depended on evidence and investigation, be it a personal matter or politics.

Meanwhile, the wife of Madeunang Masae, who was arrested and reportedly confessed to shooting Kwanchai, filed a complaint with the Muang Udon Thani Police on Monday, claiming officials did not show an arrest warrant when apprehending him.

She claimed her husband was assaulted during the arrest, and that the alleged confession was forced and made under duress.

Police investigators in protest-related issues - including the 34 Bangkok election-obstruction cases, the Lak Si clash and the murder of protest leader Suthin Taratin - will report their progress to police deputy chief Aek Angsananont today.

Arrest warrants would soon be issued for at least three suspects in the Lak Si case - out of some 21 individuals reportedly involved in the melee, said Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB) deputy chief Khachonsak Pansakhon.


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