Probe ordered for suspicious death of an ex-land official in DSI’s custody

An investigation has been ordered into the suspicious death of a former Phang-nga land official held in the detention centre of the Department of Special Investigation.

Mr Thawatchai Anukul was initially thought to have committed suicide by hanging himself to death but an autopsy by forensic experts of the Police general hospital showed that he died of internal bleeding from ruptured liver as a result of being attacked with a blunt object and of suffocation.

However, DSI director-general Pol Col Paisit Wongmuang said Wednesday that he had ordered all the video footages of surveillance cameras in front of the dentention cell to be examined to find out who had entered and left the detention cell during the period the victim was held.

He further said he had asked doctors whether it was possible that the victim's liver could be ruptured while officials tried to resuscitate him through heart pumping after finding him with his sock around his neck and thought he tried to hang himself before he was rushed to Mongkut Wattana hospital.

He dismissed the possibility that the detainee was beaten to death in detention cell by his captors, noting that his relatives were with the suspect during the interrogation by DSI officials.

Meanwhile, Pol Lt-Col Prawuth Wongsrinil, director of consumers protection and environment office of the DSI, insisted that there was no need for any DSI officials to silence the former land official to cover the tracks.

He suggested that Thawatchai might suffer from stress from the charges against him and might try to commit suicide. He pointed out that normally a person who hanged himself in a sitting position did not die immediately and officials tried to help him by applying heat pumping.

But for the sake of transparency, he said police forensic experts should conduct the autopsy instead of experts from the forensic science institute.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)