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Mother of boy killed in Thailand’s war on drugs petitions Supreme Court to investigate acquittal of police officers

Maya Taylor

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Mother of boy killed in Thailand’s war on drugs petitions Supreme Court to investigate acquittal of police officers | The Thaiger
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The mother of 17 year old Kittisap Thitboonkrong, who died during the war on drugs introduced 14 years ago by then PM Thaksin Shinawatra, is asking the Supreme Court to investigate how 6 police officers charged with his murder came to be acquitted last year.

In July 2004, Mr Kittisap was in police custody as a suspect in a robbery, when he was allegedly escorted from the station in Kalasin, north-east Thailand, in the company of six police officers. He was later found hanged in a farmhouse in the neighbouring province of Roi Et.

Six Kalasin police officers were arrested and charged with murder and the concealment of a body.

On July 30, 2012, three of the officers were sentenced to death by the Court of First Instance. A fourth officer was sentenced to life imprisonment, a fifth to 7 years’ imprisonment, and a sixth was acquitted.

A subsequent appeal hearing upheld the death sentence for two of the officers but commuted the sentence for the third to 50 years imprisonment. It also reduced the life sentence and the 7 year sentence to 5 years each, while overturning the verdict on the officer who was acquitted, sentencing him to life in prison.

However, on October 11 last year, a Supreme Court hearing acquitted all six officers due to insufficient evidence.

Now the victim’s mother, Pikul Promchan, has written to Salaikate Wattanaphan, President of the Supreme Court, asking him to look again at that decision. She points out that there was both enough evidence and sufficient number of witnesses to prove the officers killed her son and that he died while in police custody.

Mrs Pikul points out that due to the testimony of one witness being described as unlikely, the Supreme Court had decided all other witnesses were not credible, thereby coming down on the side of the accused officers. The victim’s mother also questions the validity of the verdict as it was only signed by two of the three Supreme Court judges.

Around 2,500 people were killed in the ruthless war on drugs, with widespread allegations that many of its victims were innocent of any involvement with drugs and were instead killed by corrupt police officers for other reasons.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Thailand

A wild elephant kills 80 year old camper in Khao Yai

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A wild elephant kills 80 year old camper in Khao Yai | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Representational

A wild elephant killed an 80 year old man camping in Khao Yai National Park early this morning. Park officials believe the bull elephant was in musth, which is when the elephant has rise in reproductive hormones and becomes aggressive.

80 year old Prayot Jitbun was sleeping in his tent when the elephant attacked. Other nearby campers alerted park officials saying the elephant had walked around the Prayot’s car before becoming angry and stomping on his tent, then throwing the man into a tree.

Fresh fruit was inside the man’s car and park officials believe the smell of the fruit attracted the elephant. Park officials suspect the animal became angry and attacked when it couldn’t reach the fruit.

The wild elephant, known as “Phlai Due” had been fitted with a tracking collar earlier this month. The officials say this is the first person attacked by an elephant in the park this year and ensure it won’t happen again.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Roi Et records first case of Covid-19 in employee from Chon Buri karaoke bar

Maya Taylor

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Roi Et records first case of Covid-19 in employee from Chon Buri karaoke bar | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Kane Reinholdtsen on Unsplash

The north-eastern province of Roi Et has confirmed its first Covid-19 case since last month’s resurgence of the virus. Governor Chayan Sirimas says the patient is a female employee from a karaoke joint in the Sri Racha district of Chon Buri province, in the east of the country.

“She had close contact with another patient from Chon Buri province (her younger sister) who tested positive earlier on January 9. She then took a test on January 10 at Roi Et Hospital and found that she was also infected. Both patients have symptoms of coughing and sore throat with no fever.”

According to the Nation Thailand report, the travel history and timeline of the woman’s positive test is as follows:

January 1: She travelled with her sister and the sister’s husband from Sri Racha in Chon Buri to the Muang district of Roi Et. The journey was undertaken in a personal car.

January 4 – 6: The woman visited a local market while wearing a face mask.

January 5: Her sister and sister’s husband left Roi Et and returned to Chon Buri in their car.

January 7: The woman is contacted by Sri Racha health officials, who tell her she is “high risk”, after a customer at the karaoke business where she works has tested positive for the virus. The woman does not get tested that day, but her sister, also employed at the karaoke joint, is tested at Chon Buri hospital the next day.

January 9: The sister’s test result comes back positive.

January 10: The sister’s husband also tests positive. The woman then gets tested and is also confirmed as positive.

According to Sri Racha health officials, 10 employees from the karaoke business have tested positive for the virus. 9 family members who had close contact with the 2 sisters have all tested negative. There are 7 people who had close contact with the sister’s husband. Of those, 3 have tested negative and 4 are waiting for their results.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Schools and lottery market in Loei close after family tests positive for Covid-19

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Schools and lottery market in Loei close after family tests positive for Covid-19 | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Post Today

Schools and a lottery market in the Northeastern province Loei were ordered to close after a family tested positive for Covid-19. The province is marked as a “yellow zone” under high surveillance with a total of 6 reported Covid-19 infections.

Schools will be temporarily closed from today until 24 January, while the lottery market will be closed from today onwards.

The family who tested positive are a 78 year old woman, a 13 year old 7th grad student, and a 6 year old kindergarten student. The provincial authority says the family all went to a school and the market lottery, resulting in the closure of schools and a lottery market today.

The cases were detected in a proactive testing campaign which tested more than 1,200 people. There are 35 people at “high risk” waiting for test results.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World | CCSA

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