Police unable to identify attackers in Ja New assault

Police unable to identify attackers in Ja New assault

Medics attend a seriously injured Sirawith
Medics attend a seriously injured Sirawith "Ja New" Seritiwat after he was beaten by four men with baseball bats on June 28, 2019. (Photo: Romsai Rescue Foundation)

Political activist Sirawith "Ja New" Seritiwat has expressed disbelief after being informed the police investigation into the violent and very public assault on him last year has been halted.

Despite having security camera footage of the attack, police have been unable to identify any of the four men who beat him with baseball bats after stopping traffic on a main road in Min Buri, Bangkok, on June 28. 

The activist wrote on his Facebook page that his family received a letter of notification from Min Buri police station on Thursday about the investigation into the attack, in which he was seriously injured.

He posted the police letter, which said, in Thai: “The investigation into the case has already been completed and the probe report was forwarded to public prosecutors, who recommended that 'the investigation should be halted' on the grounds that evidence gathered could not identity who were involved. CCTV footage was not clear enough to capture the faces of the attackers so that arrest warrants could be issued. An examination of CCTV recordings could not provide any clue where the attackers stayed or fled to. If the police investigating the case find substantive evidence to identify the offenders, arrest warrants will be issued and legal action taken.’’

Mr Sirawith asked just when his attackers would be brought to justice and when the investigation would continue. He also wondered if men in uniform were involved.

His post drew sympathy and encouragement from supporters, who roundly criticised police for failing to arrest the assailants despite the clear surveillance camera footage showing the attack.

The activist sustained serious injuries when he was attacked and beaten with baseball bats by four men about 11am on June 28 at the mouth of Ram Intra Soi 109 in Klong Sam Wa district of Bangkok. 

He was admitted to intensive care at Navamin 1 Hospital where a brain scan showed no haemorrhaging and that he was conscious, but he could not respond. His external injuries included a fractured eye socket, bleeding in the eyes and a broken nose.

On June 29, Future Forward Party MP Rangsiman Rome said he had obtained security footage showing four men violently attacking Sirawith. 

Mr Rangsiman wrote on his Facebook that he and two other party MPs had inspected the scene of the attack and spoken to vendors and motorcycle-taxi drivers in the area. They confirmed the attack occurred on the main road on that day. 

Political activist Sirawith Seritiwat writes on his Facebook page on Thursday that he received a police letter notifying him of the situtation in the case in which he was assaulted on June 28 last year. He also posted a copy of the police letter.

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