Case of 14 year old shooting suspect returned to police for further probe

Photo courtesy of Sanook

Today, the Office of the Attorney General disclosed that the case file of a 14 year old boy, accused of a fatal shooting in Siam Paragon, has been returned to the police for further investigation. The prosecutors have requested additional psychiatric assessment results for the boy before the case can proceed.

The case was initially submitted to the Special Prosecutor’s Office for Juvenile and Family Cases 3 on December 20 by the Pathumwan Metropolitan Police. The young suspect, identified only as P, was facing several charges, including premeditated murder, possession of a firearm and ammunition without a permit, carrying a firearm in public without permission, and discharging a firearm in public without a valid reason. The incident occurred on October 3 within the Paragon Shopping Mall.

Thai Police General Torsak Sukvimol said Siam Paragon handled the incident according to the incident training that takes place every quarter of the year, which has helped minimize the loss and allowed the police to take charge and evacuate people strategically. The police, at the same time, have closed the area to take charge of the incident, according to the tactics.

Upon reviewing the case, prosecutors discovered that the young suspect had been sent to Galaya Rajanagarindra Institute for treatment and diagnosis on October 5. The authorities believed the boy suffered from mental illness and was incapable of standing trial. However, despite this, the police had proceeded with the investigation and charged the boy before the Institute had completed its psychiatric evaluation, a clear violation of the legal process.

It was also revealed that on November 21 the Institute had submitted its report stating the boy lacked understanding of the charges against him, could not communicate effectively or answer questions, and was unable to control his emotions and behaviour. The evaluation concluded that the boy was unfit to stand trial, reported Sanook.

As a result, the Special Prosecutor’s Office for Juvenile and Family Cases 3 deemed the investigation into the young suspect flawed. They ruled that the police had failed to wait for the psychiatric evaluation results from the Institute before proceeding with the investigation and charges. This was a violation of the Criminal Procedure Code and the Juvenile and Family Court Act and Procedure for Juvenile and Family Cases, rendering the investigation into the minor invalid. The case file was subsequently returned to the police for correct legal proceedings.

The additional clarification provided by the Office of the Attorney General stated that the return of the case file did not imply any judgment on the case’s substance. The irregularities in the investigation process necessitated the return. The police have been instructed to conclude the investigation once the young suspect has recovered and can stand trial, and then resubmit the case to the prosecutors for further consideration within the statute of limitations, which is twenty years for this case.

In related news, a tragic shooting spree at Bangkok’s Siam Paragon Mall claims its third victim, a 14 year old girl and avid fan of pop idols.

Thailand News


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