Lawyer calls for activist killing video
The lawyer of slain Lahu rights activist Chaiyaphum Pasae has asked the army to show closed circuit TV footage of the incident in which he was shot dead by a soldier in Chiang Mai in March last year.
Rassada Manurassada submitted a letter at army headquarters Monday, asking army chief Chalermchai Sitthisad to disclose footage of the extra-judicial killing, saying it is a key piece of evidence in the case.
On March 17 last year, Chaiyaphum, who was driving a car with a friend, was stopped by soldiers at a checkpoint at Rinluang village near the Thai-Myanmar border in Chiang Dao district to conduct a search.
The soldiers claimed they found 2,800 methamphetamine pills in the car. They alleged that Chaiyaphum was attempting to escape and tried to throw a hand grenade at the soldiers.
One of the soldiers opened fire in "self-defence". Chaiyaphum died at the scene. He was 17 at the time.
It was later revealed that military CCTV footage captured the shooting. But it has yet to be revealed to the public.
Mr Rassada said CCTV cameras in the area were able to record what happened.
About a week after the shooting, the army handed a copy of the footage, on a hard disk drive, to police investigating the case.
But police said they could not locate the footage on the disk, he said.
Mr Rassada said he wants the army chief to tell his subordinates to hand the footage to the relatives of the slain activist and himself as required under the 1997 Information Act to ensure a fair investigation.
He said he was certain the footage does exist.
Court hearings have taken place since September last year.
Police filed a case in a Chiang Mai court alleging Chaiyaphum and his friend were caught in possession of drugs, but many locals do not believe the Lahu youth was linked to narcotics.
The killing has generated a great deal of controversy.
In March this year, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha ordered a probe into the extra-judicial killing after human rights activists criticised cabinet ministers for defending the soldier who shot him.
Third Region Army commander Lt Gen Vijak Siribansop said the soldier had no intention of killing Chaiyaphum.