Hungarian's death in Suvarnabhumi cell sparks special probe

Hungarian's death in Suvarnabhumi cell sparks special probe

An ambulance and pickup trucks of social workers is seen in front of the Suvarnabhumi police station on Sunday to pick up the body of a Belgian man who was found dead in the detention cell there. (Photo supplied by Sutthiwit Chayutworakan)
An ambulance and pickup trucks of social workers is seen in front of the Suvarnabhumi police station on Sunday to pick up the body of a Belgian man who was found dead in the detention cell there. (Photo supplied by Sutthiwit Chayutworakan)

A fact-finding panel has been set up to investigate the death of a Hungarian man while he was being detained at Suvarnabhumi airport for overstaying his visa.

Laszlo Balogh, who was arrested on Saturday, died the next day after spending just a night in a cell at Suvarnabhumi Airport police station. Balogh apparently suffered from diabetes.

Police said he was sleeping normally in his cell on Saturday evening before being found dead in the morning.

A doctor who conducted the initial examination of his body suspected the 60-year-old might have died of an age-related disease, Pol Col Kissana Phathanacharoen, deputy spokesman of the Royal Thai Police, said yesterday.

A probe is usually required if a suspect dies during police detention. However, he said, to provide full transparency as well as a clear answer on the cause of the death to Balogh’s family, a special team would conduct the probe. 

Suvarnabhumi airport police chief Natthaphon Komintharachat has already appointed a team of investigators.

“If the death is linked with a careless error by officers, they will face both disciplinary and criminal action,” Pol Col Kissana said.

By law, an inquest jointly conducted by police, prosecutors and administration officials must be completed within 90 days.

According to the preliminary examination, Balogh suffered diabetes, but experts have yet to conclude the disease led to his death.


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