By PIYANUCH THAMNUKASETCHAI
POLICE ARE planning to conclude the investigation into the suspicious death of Tawatchai Anukul, a suspect in a massive illegal land-deed case, within 30 days.
Tawatchai, who arrested on charges of illegitimately issuing title deeds worth more than Bt10 billion, died on August 30 in suspicious circumstances while in the custody of the Department of Special Investigation (DSI).
DSI officials initially claimed that he hanged himself with socks inside his detention cell but the results of a preliminary autopsy showed that Tawatchai died of a ruptured liver as well as asphyxiation.
“Investigators will have 30 days to complete the investigation,” Metropolitan Police Division 2 chief Pol Maj-General Charoen Srisasaluk, the leader of a team investigating events at the DSI facility, said yesterday.
He said the timeframe would be extended only if police need to gather additional evidence or interview more witnesses.
Following Tawatchai’s death, police have inspected the DSI facilities four times – on August 30, August 31, last Saturday and yesterday.
Tawatchai’s younger brother, Chainarong Anukul, has said he suspects foul play, adding that the DSI has given him confusing or contradictory information several times.
For example, the DSI told him that he would be able to check recordings from security cameras but then announced that the server for its CCTV system had malfunctioned so there were no recordings.
“I can’t understand why an agency like the DSI allows its CCTV system to malfunction,” Chainarong said.
He also questioned why the Justice Ministry investigation did not include forensic experts from the Police General Hospital.
The ministry, which oversees the DSI, set up a committee on Monday to conduct an internal investigation into Tawatchai’s death and recruited medical specialists from various hospitals, but not from the Police General Hospital, which conducted the preliminary autopsy.
Meanwhile, Metropolitan Police Division 2 deputy commander Pol Colonel Komsak Sumangkaset said police had not yet received any CCTV recordings from the DSI.