Police chief orders full probe

Police chief orders full probe

The national police chief has ordered a full investigation into the 27-hour siege at a house in Bangkok's Sai Mai district, where a mentally disturbed police officer fired his weapon more than 50 times before being overpowered by a Swat team.

Royal Thai Police spokesman, Pol Maj Gen Archayon Kraithong, on Monday said that the national police chief Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas has expressed regret about the tragedy and has ordered a new investigation committee to provide a full public report into the incident.

"Pol Gen Damrongsak insisted on transparency from all agencies involved in the investigation to ensure justice for all sides in this case," Pol Maj Gen Archayon said.

The family of Pol Lt Col Kittikarn Saengbun, who later died in hospital from injuries sustained during the police raid on his house, has also filed a letter requesting an investigation of the takedown last Wednesday.

On Monday, Anuchit Thatsew, the family's lawyer, submitted the letter to the superintendent of Sai Mai Police Station.

He said that the parents of the late Pol Lt Col Kittikarn want clarification about the sequence of events that eventually led to him being fatally wounded at the end of the 27-hour, March 14-15 siege.

Pol Lt Col Kittikarn, 51, was an inspector attached to the Special Branch Bureau's (SBB) Intelligence Development Centre. He was shot and wounded by police commandos at noon on March 15.

Reports said that he died in hospital later that day.

However, the late policeman's family believe that police commandos might have used unnecessary firepower, which caused the injuries that led to the fatal "seizure" he suffered later in hospital.

According to crime scene investigators, there were bullet holes in the back wall next to the window Pol Lt Col Kittikarn had been seen at and more all over the house.

The family has speculated that there was more gunfire than previously thought.

Mr Anuchit said the family had asked police to wait until Pol Lt Col Kittikarn's parents arrived at the scene before storming the house.

"Even though the police had allowed a video call between him and his mother during the standoff, [the family] think that they should have been there in person," he added.

Pol Maj Gen Somkuan Puengsap, the deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, said that the investigation team would be joined by an attorney to act as an impartial third party according to the law.

But Pol Lt Col Kittikarn's family want the investigation completed within three days, which Pol Maj Gen Somkuan thought unrealistic.He insisted the police would compensate the family and promised a fair investigation into the cause of Pol Lt Col Kittikarn's death.

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