Cops probe 'fresh' Tangmo footage
Police have obtained footage that reportedly shows a person standing up and sitting down at the back of the speedboat being driven along the Chao Phraya River before TV actress Pattarathida "Tangmo" Patcharaveerapong fell overboard last month.
However, police will not say if the person seen in the footage was the actress, adding further investigation is required. Pol Lt Gen Jirapat Phumichit, commissioner of Provincial Police Region 1, said yesterday that investigators had obtained "fresh evidence" from CCTV video taken from a Chao Phraya riverside building.
He said the footage shows a person standing up and sitting down at the back of the speedboat at 10.34pm on Feb 24 before the actress fell into the river.
"This evidence is useful as it will help investigators get more clarity on this case," Pol Lt Gen Jirapat said. He said police will ask experts from production houses to help improve the clarity of the footage and inspect the speedboat's GPS coordinates.
Meanwhile, Pol Col Songsak Raksaksakul, director of the Justice Ministry's Central Institute of Forensic Science, said the institute will set up a panel to conduct a second postmortem of Pattarathida's body, as sought by her mother, and will invite doctors from other institutes to join.
"Her body will be kept at Thammasat University Hospital, and the re-examination is anticipated to be complete in no less than 30 days," Pol Col Songsak said. The actress' body was supposed to be cremated by now, but on Saturday, her mother called on investigators to transfer the body to the institute for re-examination.
Trairit Temahiwong, chief of the Department of Special Investigation (DSI), said the DSI will investigate the case if Pattarathida's family requests that the department to do so.
Khunying Dr Pornthip Rojanasunant, ex-director of the Central Institute of Forensic Science, said on Facebook that the family may have a rare chance to access the postmortem result. She said many people mistakenly believe that only the police have access to these reports.
According to the law, forensic doctors have a duty to reveal the truth, but as autopsies in Thailand have been integrated into police investigations, the process may not be as transparent as it should be, she said. She said Thailand should adopt the UN's Minnesota Protocol, a set of guidelines for doctors which say that doctors must be independent.