Public prosecutors yesterday took the high-profile murder case involving a former police station chief and his six-member team to the Central Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases.
Office of the Attorney-General (OAG) spokesman Itthiporn Kaewthip said the prosecutors had indicted Pol Col Thitisan “Joe Ferrari” Utthanaphon and six other officers in the court, and the office had directed four senior prosecutors to work on the case.
The OAG agreed to the recommendation of the Crime Suppression Division to press four charges against them in the court — malfeasance, abuse of authority, torture causing death and coercion.
“They could face the death penalty if found guilty by the court,” Mr Kaewthip said.
The OAG has indicted the suspects before the period that they can legally detain them without charge expires tomorrow. They are currently being held at Bangkok Remand Prison, he said.
The other suspects indicted by the OAG in the case are: Pol Maj Rawirot Ditthong; Pol Capt Songyot Khlainak; Pol Lt Thoranin Matwanna; Pol Snr Sgt Maj Suphakon Nimchuen; Pol Snr Sgt Maj Wisut Bunkhiew and Pol L/C Pawikon Khammarew.
All were accused of killing Chiraphong Thanapat, a 24-year-old drug suspect, while trying to extort 2 million baht from him during a 5th August interrogation.
A video posted on social media showed Chiraphong being suffocated during the questioning session after his head was covered with a black plastic bag by officers.
Chiraphong was officially pronounced dead the next day. All denied the accusations and vowed to fight the case in court.
Pol Col Utthanaphon earned the nickname “Joe Ferrari” due to his obsession with expensive cars.