Army halts handover of four suspects

The army yesterday abruptly cancelled the handover to police of four soldiers allegedly involved in the shooting of red-shirt leader Kwanchai Praipana.

It accused the police of allegedly breaking a handover condition and cited this as the reason for the cancellation.

It had been agreed the army would take the four soldiers who are attached to the 9th Infantry Division to police investigators at Provincial Police Region 4’s training centre in Khon Kaen's Muang district yesterday morning.

The four were facing arrest warrants issued by the Udon Thani police in connection with last month’s shooting.

They were expected to be accompanied by staff judge advocates to the centre, where about 10 advocates and commissioned officers were waiting.

Two witnesses were also brought to the centre for questioning.

In the end, only lawyers representing the four suspects had actually arrived at the centre. They said the suspects had asked to postpone the appointment and turn themselves in to police at a later date, a source said.

The same source identified the four suspects as Sgt Mawin Yangbua, SM 2 Wiroj Pimsing, Sub Lt Prachya Janrodpai, Sgt Chanon Thapthimthong, and Sgt Banjong Kanthahan.

Maj Gen Pairoj Thongma-eng, chief of the 9th Infantry Division, said he was notified by the staff judge advocates responsible for handing over the four suspects to police that the handover had been called off.

The suspects had travelled to Khon Kaen, along with the staff judge advocates and military court prosecutors, expecting to be handed over to police.

Before they reached the police training centre they were informed that witnesses would be questioned while they were being interrogated, said Maj Gen Pairoj.

This had not been part of the agreement, he said.

The army had cooperated with the investigation, but the police had failed to keep the agreement, he added.

The four suspects would remain under the army’s care for the time being, Maj Gen Pairoj said.

Share your thoughts

Discussion 1 : 20/02/2014 at 06:22 AM
Congrats to Mr. Kwanchai Praipana and his family for his surviving. Few weeks ago the red shirt leader (still in hospital then) was interviewed by German reporters from the TV channel ARD for the weekend broadcast "Weltspiegel". It was really funny. Angrily in his bed he propagate a separation of the Isan from the Kingdom. WITH UDON AS CAPITAL!!! 555
Discussion 2 : 19/02/2014 at 05:28 PM
Why would the Army, who see what everyone else sees, that is, the refusal of the Police no doubt under orders from TS to do anything about crimes the Reds/PTP commit, but go full court press on anything perceived to be committed against them? The Police got into bed with the PTP, lost all credibility, now must live with the results of their behavior.
Discussion 3 : 19/02/2014 at 03:54 PM
And long may the Army remain free of corrupt government influence.
Discussion 4 : 19/02/2014 at 01:50 PM
A fine example of why Thailand,s political situation will remain hopeless.
Discussion 5 : 19/02/2014 at 09:47 AM
Welcome to Thailand where the military has long been its own authority under the orders / control of no one else.
Discussion 6 : 19/02/2014 at 09:44 AM
The Police should have followed the plan as per agreement. Changing it out of whim at the last minute speaks of ill intention.
Discussion 7 : 19/02/2014 at 09:34 AM
Excuses excuses.
Discussion 8 : 19/02/2014 at 07:58 AM
Seems if you carry a gun with intent to shoot police, Gov. employess of opponents of Suthep you will receive the full protection of the Army. Least it speaks to the world louid and clear that we are seeing and armed organised insurection backed with judicial coup.... AGAIN.
Discussion 9 : 19/02/2014 at 07:35 AM
Perhaps it is because I am an outsider, but why would it matter if witnesses are questioned whilst suspects are interrogated?

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