DSI now probing case of 'scapegoat' spouse Panya

DSI now probing case of 'scapegoat' spouse Panya

Panya: Falsely accused by police
Panya: Falsely accused by police

The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) is officially looking into the case of Panya Khongsaenkham, allegedly tortured by police, after the 56-year-old man in Sa Kaeo province was made a scapegoat in the murder of his mentally unstable wife, Buaphan Tansu.

The investigation follows an accusation against the Aranyaprathet police force that its officers tortured Mr Panya into falsely confessing to killing his 47-year-old wife.

Security camera footage on Jan 11, however, showed that Buaphan was assaulted, abducted and killed by a group of teenagers who later disposed of her body in a nearby pond.

An order was endorsed on Wednesday by Pol Maj Yutthana Praedam, acting director-general of the DSI, to establish whether the police officers had unlawfully pressed criminal charges against Mr Panya.

If their guilt is proven, their conduct will be considered to have been in violation of the Act on the Prevention and Suppression of Torture and Enforced Disappearances.

According to DSI spokesman Woranan Srilam, prosecutors from the Office of the Attorney-General will be assigned to monitor the investigation as the Department of Provincial Administration and the Royal Thai Police will be invited to join the probe under the Special Case Investigation Act.

Lawsuits against the parents of the five young perpetrators, aged 13 to 16, accused of killing Buaphan, have been filed with the Central Juvenile and Family Court.

Under the Child Protection Act, the parents are being charged with forcing, threatening, persuading, supporting or allowing their children to behave improperly.

The court later allowed the five teenage suspects to be temporarily released.

However, the minors will be closely monitored by probation officers before the court hearing takes place on March 13 at 10am.

The deputy national police chief said that this case has served to intensify the calls for changes to laws pertaining to minors who commit serious criminal offences.

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