Thursday, October 01, 2020

Committee concludes probe into Tawatchai death mystery

Oct 05. 2016
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By Pratch Rrujivanarom

Piyanuch Thamnukasetchai

The Nation

A SPECIAL Justice Ministry committee investigating the suspicious death of land-deeds scam suspect Tawatchai Anukul while in custody announced it had completed its report yesterday, but did not disclose any details on how he died.
Wisit Wisitora, head of the Truth Finding Committee on the Death of Tawatchai Anukul, told a press conference that the committee had gathered all the information it needed and would send its report to Thung Song Hong police’s investigation team.
“Right now, the committee’s duty is done,” said Wisit, who added that the panel had not concluded how Tawatchai died but rather how he might have sustained his injuries while in custody of the Department of Special Investigation (DSI). 
Almost five weeks ago, 66-year-old Tawatchai, the prime suspect in an illegal deed registration case involving public land in Phuket and Phangnga, allegedly hanged himself in a DSI detention room.
His death sparked public speculation about the real cause of death and the Justice Ministry set up its special committee to probe the matter alongside the police investigation.
The main duty of the committee was to establish whether there any DSI officer was involved in Tawatchai’s death and report to Justice Ministry.
Wisit said the committee, comprising forensic teams from Chulalongkorn University, Sirirat Medical School and Ramathibodi Medical School, had examined the possible causes of death, what really happened at the time of incident, and the medical treatment Tawatchai received after he was found hanged.
“Based on evidence”
“The committee members have come out with conclusive comments on all aspects of the case, but did not point out the exactly how Tawatchai died, rather the cause of his physical injuries. The report also includes a timeline for the incident, based on the evidence we have,” he said.
“For the investigation on the DSI officers, we have checked CCTV footage and found that there were many officers on duty during that time. However, most of our members are the forensic team, so there is no allegation was made against any of the officers and this report will be handed to the ministry for further investigation.”
Tawatchai’s brother, Chainarong Anukul, who attended yesterday’s press conference, said the committee had shared some details of their investigation with him verbally, but he had not seen the report.
“I can accept some points of the investigation, if it is scientifically proven, but there are some that are still not clear to me. My brother’s death is clearly unnatural and I would like to know the truth,” Chinarong said.
Chinarong will go to Thung Song Hong police station today to hear the result of an autopsy on his brother carried out at Police General Hospital.

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