Tangmo: Boating buddies should take polygraph tests, again — says senator

A forensics team investigates the speedboat that Thai actress Tangmo allegedly fell from last month. Credit: MCOT | YouTube

The five boating buddies of the Thai actress Nida “Tango” Patcharavirapong should take lie detector tests — again. That’s the recommendation of Senator Somchai Sawangkarn, head of the Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights, Rights, Liberties and Consumer Protection.

Somachai made the statement to the media after a meeting on Monday, during which he heard reports from the police and forensics pathologists involved in the ongoing investigation. He recommended the polygraph tests because the witness have made conflicting statements to police and the case has seen very little progress, after nearly a month of investigation, while the media circus surrounding them plays on.

The senator said he also suspects that the five boat buddies might have received coaching from someone before they received police questioning. And he suggested that the police try to locate the actress’ skirt, saying it might provide an additional clue.

Notably, Tango was shown wearing a white skirt around her waist in photographs taken on the night of her death. The garment was not found on the actress’ body when it was recovered from the Chao Phraya River two days after the incident. But the garment has yet to be located.

Somchai also said that police will be asked to re-examine some details of the ongoing investigation, including Tangmo’s skirt, a bruise on her chest, the deep wound on her thigh, and a blood sample. He said police have been asked to be “transparent” in their investigation of the evidence. The late actress’ mother reportedly petitioned the senator to keep a close watch on the investigation into her daughter’s death.

The senator said that at this point in the investigation, the committee won’t summon anyone to provide additional information, but that it will consider meeting summaries, autopsy results, CCTV footage and other evidence in its next discussion.

But this is not the first time lie detectors have been mentioned in the investigation. Last month, national police chief Pol Gen Suwat Jangyodsuk said police would use lie detectors during questioning of the boating five to facilitate the investigation, the Bangkok Post reported.

Since then, there’s been no news on whether the five witnesses were actually given lie detector tests and, if so, what the results were. It’s unclear why they would have to undergo a second round of polygraph tests, if the police had already used them once before.

Police also previously conducted five days of boating reenactments with each of the witnesses, to determine the events that took place on the speedboat that night. But police say the witnesses have made conflicting statements, leading them to believe they’ve lied.

The five people who were on the boat are boat owner Tanupat “Por” Lerttaweewit, the unlicensed skipper Phaiboon “Bert” Trikanjananun, Nitas “Job” Kiratisoothisathorn, Tangmo’s manager Idsarin “Gatick” Juthasuksawat and Wisapat “Sand” Manomairat, a transgender woman.

Police earlier said all five will likely face charges of giving false statements and recklessness leading to death. But the investigation is dragging on — with Wednesday marking one month mark since Tangmo drowned in the Chao Phraya River on the night of February 24. Police have yet to determine why she fell from the boat and who was to blame.

Last week, the Justice Ministry set up a panel of forensic experts to review the re-examination of the actress’ body, which took place on March 16.

Notably, Senator Khunying Pornthip Rojanasunan, a member of the senate committee and a forensic expert, says that the first autopsy was quite complete and she does not think the late actress was assaulted.

She said existing evidence in not sufficient to determine that actress’ death was an act of premeditated murder, rather it was more likely to be a “homicide.” Dr. Pornthip says

Meanwhile, Somchai said the panel had received and reviewed the results of both autopsies, which were similar. Notably, Tangmo’s head did not show any trace of impact and her teeth were not broken. As for the wound on her leg, officials are still waiting for the result of a tissue examination to determine its cause.

SOURCE: MCOT | Thai PBS World | Bangkok Post

Tangmo: Boating buddies should take polygraph tests, again — says senator | News by Thaiger

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Jay Shine

A longtime expat in Asia with a degree in journalism and creative writing. Highlights include writing for Condé Nast Traveller and Apple Music. In his spare time, Jay enjoys writing poetry, brewing traditional Chinese tea and lounging with his calico soi cat, Almond.