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‘Joe Ferrari’ and 6 other police, face death penalty

Tim Newton

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Thitisan Utthanaphon, aka. Joe Ferrari, along with 6 other police, will be indicted this week over 4 charges relating to the alleged torture and subsequent murder of a 24 year old drug suspect.

The 7 police now facing official charges are…

Pol Col Thitisan Utthanaphon (head of the station)

Pol Maj Rawirot Ditthong

Pol Capt Songyot Khlainak

Pol Lt Thoranin Matwanna

Pol Snr Sgt Maj Suphakon Nimchuen

Pol Snr Sgt Maj Wisut Bunkhiew

Pol L/C Pawikon Khammarew

The Central Investigation Bureau made the announcement yesterday and says the Office of the Attorney-General will officially prosecute the 7 individuals early next week. The charges carry a maximum sentence of the death penalty (a rare occurrence, only 7 people have been executed by lethal injection injection since 2003).

The AOG has agreed to prosecute Pol Col Thitisan Utthanaphon, the former chief of the Muang district police station in central Thailand’s Nakhon Sawan, along with 6 other police that were in the room when the alleged crime was committed.

Thitisan Utthanaphon continues to deny all charges and vows to fight the case in court.

All 7 police have been discharged from duty but retain their ranks in the police force, pending the outcome of the trial, although they’ve been held in Bangkok’s Klong Prem prison during the investigations

An initial report, submitted on November 3, recommended 4 charges…torture causing death, malfeasance, abuse of authority, and coercion.

The AOG has now decided to prosecute the full 4 charges in the Central Criminal Court for Corruption & Misconduct.

24 year old Chiraphong Thanapat had several plastic bags put over his head during an interrogation on August 5 this year. A later autposy revealed that he died of asphyxiation (suffocation) despite the attending police initially asking the hospital to allegedly list the death as from the victim’s heart problems.

The 8 police also stand accused of trying to extort 2 million baht from him.

A video of Chiraphong’s death shows his head covered by a black plastic bag during an interrogation as he was being suffocated. The CCTV footage was released to a lawyer by a junior policeman at the station and immediately went viral on the internet.

The main protagonist, Thitisan Utthanaphon, who has become infamous because of his nickname ‘Joe Ferrari’, was able to amass enormous wealth and an array of luxury and sports cars, despite his relatively young age of 30.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2012. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for 41 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program (public radio Australia), presented over 11,000 radio news bulletins, 3,900 in Thailand alone, hosted 950 daily TV news programs and produced 2,100 videos, TV commercials and documentaries. He also reported for CNN, Deutsche Welle TV, CBC, Australia's ABC TV and Australian radio during the 2018 Cave Rescue and other major stories in Thailand. As founder of The Thaiger in 2016, Tim is the current CEO for company, based in Bangkok.

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