Lawyers go to war over blackmail allegation

Lawyers go to war over blackmail allegation

A still image from a video clip shows a police officer wrapping a plastic bag over a drug suspect's head.
A still image from a video clip shows a police officer wrapping a plastic bag over a drug suspect's head.

Celebrity lawyer Decha Kittiwittayanan on Friday filed a defamation complaint against another famed lawyer, Sittha Biabangkerd, for claims made about the publication of the torture clip of a drug suspect in Nakhon Sawan.

Mr Decha lodged the complaint against Mr Sittha, who posted the clip to expose police brutality on Tuesday, with police at Khokkhram station. According to the complaint, Mr Sittha accused Mr Decha of using the clip to extort 20 million baht from Pol Col Thitisan Utthanaphon in exchange for not publishing the torture footage.

Mr Decha said he also received the clip, from a senior police officer, 15 minutes before Mr Sittha did, but decided to hold on to it because the case was being investigated, and releasing it could compromise the probe.

Mr Decha denied blackmailing Pol Col Thitisan and challenged Mr Sittha to prove the allegation. Mr Sittha shrugged off the complaint and suggested Mr Decha file a defamation suit directly with a court.

He also said his decision to make the clip public led to the arrest of Pol Col Thitisan and others involved.

Mr Sittha posted the clip on his Facebook page on Tuesday.

According to Mr Sittha, he obtained the clip from a junior police officer who feared for his safety and sought his help in forwarding the clip to the national police chief.

Pol Col Thitisan was arrested on Thursday for his alleged part in the custody death.

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