2 ex-top cops jailed after torture ruling

2 ex-top cops jailed after torture ruling

The Supreme Court has upheld a judgement against two former high-ranking policemen accused of torturing a man into confessing to being a party to a murder he did not commit.

The Nonthaburi Provincial Court read the Supreme Court's ruling yesterday upholding a prison term of 15 years each against Pol Maj Gen Ronnapong Saikaew and Pol Col Anuchon Chamat, who have resigned from the police.

The former officers were accused of torturing, via the use of electric shocks, Wiroj Suwannee into confessing to being complicit in the murder of Kasem Kongtuk, a member of the Bang Rin tambon administration organisation in Ranong on Oct 11, 2002, and falsely identifying Kreetha Yokyong, now mayor of Ban Rin municipality, as the murder mastermind.

Wiroj brought the case against Pol Maj Gen Ronnapong and Pol Col Anuchon. The Court of First Instance cleared them. However, the Appeal Court reversed the ruling and sentenced them to 15 years in jail each.

The Supreme Court yesterday upheld that ruling.

The ruling was read yesterday after it was postponed from Nov 22 when the men failed to turn up at the court. Yesterday, the pair again made a no-show, prompting the court to decide to hand down the ruling in their absence.

Warrants are out for the arrest of the two former officers.

After being forced to confess, Wiroj was sentenced by the lower court to life imprisonment. He has served four years in Bang Kwang Central Prison in Nonthaburi. He was brought to hear the ruling against the ex-officers yesterday.

Wiroj's wife, Piyawadee Kotchasing, said yesterday her family was delighted by the ruling, which will be useful for her husband in petitioning the court to have the murder investigation revived. The family is now consulting lawyers.

Wiroj's daughter, Angsumarin Suwannee, said her father would file for financial compensation from the Justice Ministry for being wrongfully charged in a criminal case.

Mr Kreetha, meanwhile, thanked the court for the ruling. He said he was considering suing the former officers for damages.

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