Seven Police Officers Transferred After Death in Police Custody

Death in Police Custody

Seven police officers in Nakhon Phanom province have been transferred to inactive duties as an investigation takes place into the death of a man in their custody.

Pol Maj Gen Thanachat Rodklongtan, Commander of Nakhon Phanom provincial police, said yesterday that he had ordered a probe into the case and moved the officers involved to prevent anyone tampering with evidence.

The move came after relatives of Witthaya Sopawong, 40, an official at the Tambon Kan Lueang administrative organisation, asked for an investigation into how he died after being placed in a cell at Nong Bor police station on 28th July.

The relatives, led by Thanapong Chaikham, 50, chief administrator, and Si Wongsicha, 55, the chairman of the organisation, claimed that Mr Sopawong must have sustained his fatal injuries while being held in police custody and vowed to pursue justice for him.

Another relative, Worrathep Kamkham, 43, showed police photos of his corpse which revealed he had bruises all over his body.

Police forensic scientists in Khon Kaen found that one of Mr Sopawong’s vital organs had been badly damaged.

Mr Sopawong had been arrested after a police raid on his house, in which six teenagers were arrested for using methamphetamine, known as ya ba.

Mr Sopawong was himself said to have only been drinking alcohol at the time but for some unknown reason is said to have tried to run away, only to be caught and detained at Nong Bor police station.