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Top police face LM charges

Nov 23. 2014
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By The Nation

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THE SUSPENDED COMMANDER of the Central Investigation Bureau, Lt-General Pongpat Chayaphan, and his deputy Maj-General Kowit Wongrungroj, who have been accused of lese majeste, have confessed to their crimes, Royal Thai Police spokesman Lt-General Prawut T
These cases would be clarified further and in greater detail at a press conference, said Prawut, who is also an assistant national police chief.
Senior police have rarely been charged with lese majeste.
Three civilians accused of similar crimes were on the run and were being pursued by police, he said.
As for the death of Pol Colonel Akkharawut Limrat, Prawut said a death certificate issued by coroners on Friday said he suffered a broken spine at chest level, which was caused by a fall from a high position. 
He said Akkharawut, who was transferred from a prominent position along with Pongpat, had earlier attempted suicide on three occasions after his transfer. 
Akkharawut was cooperative and gave useful information to police, he said.
“After giving his statements, he jumped off a building to kill himself out of distress and fear for prosecution, he said, adding that the colonel left a suicide note. Pongpat, his deputy Maj-General Kowit Wongrungroj and Akkharawut were transferred to inactive posts in an urgent transfer order issued late at night on November 11. 
A Royal Thai Police notice issued on Friday details their alleged crimes and lists the names of eight more people – five police officers and the three civilians. Akkharawut had not been charged with any offence and his death was made known via social media posts yesterday.
Crime Suppression Division commander Chaithat Bunkham was transferred on November 13 but he was not on the notice, which comprises 10 people in total.
Another transfer order issued on November 14 resulted in a police commander being assigned to replace Colonel Watcharaphol Thongluan, commander of the CSD’s Subdivision 5. Watcharaphol is also not on the notice. 
The other officers named on the list are Marine Police commander Maj-General Bunsueb Phrai-thuen, Samut Sakhon immigration police chief Colonel Kowit Muangnual, Snr Sgt Major Surasak Jan-ngoa and Snr Sgt Major Chattrin Laothong.
The three civilians have been identified as Sudathip Muangnual, Sawong Mungthiang, both of whom are women, and Rerngsak Saknarongdej.

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