Beaten conscript's family given B7m

The Royal Thai Army has agreed to pay more than seven million baht in compensation to the family of Pvt Wichean Phuaksom who was beaten to death by officers at a military training camp in Narathiwat.

The Civil Court on Friday said that the Army agreed to provide the compensation to settle a case filed by Mrs Prathueng, Wichean’s mother, seeking justice and damages from the Ministry of Defence, the Royal Thai Army, and the Prime Minister's Office.

The announcement was made on Monday in a statement released by the Cross Cultural Foundation, which is assisting with the case.

According to the lawsuit, 10 military officers physically attacked Wichean on June 1, 2011 to punish him for trying to avoid carrying out his duties.

The suit claims Wichean suffered serious injuries in the assault and that his superiors waited three days before taking him to Cho Airong District Hospital. After examining him, doctors immediately transferred him to Narathiwat Rajanagarindra Hospital where he died on June 5 from renal failure. 

The defendants offered to mediate with the plaintiff and later agreed to provide the family with 7,049,213 baht compensation. The plaintiff was given 500,000 baht before the case was filed, so that amount was deducted, meaning the remaining sum to be paid to Mrs Prathueng is 6,549,213 baht. 

The Royal Thai Army, which was named as the second defendant in the lawsuit, has already handed over the money to the plaintiff and signed a mediation contract so the Civil Court issued its order in accordance with the contract.

It took one year and nine months for the mediation process to be completed because it was delayed by various governmental procedures.

The military officers responsible for Wichean's death will have to pay the army for the compensation money.

A criminal lawsuit against the officers responsible is being reviewed by the Office of the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC), but no progress has been made, the statement said. 

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