Police tracing masterminds of linked court, Paragon bombings

Police tracing masterminds of linked court, Paragon bombings

Gen Chaiyasit Shinawatra reacts at a press conference at his house in Lam Luk Ka district of Pathumthani on Monday where he denied involvement in the grenade attack at the Criminal Court. (Photo by Apichit Jinakul)
Gen Chaiyasit Shinawatra reacts at a press conference at his house in Lam Luk Ka district of Pathumthani on Monday where he denied involvement in the grenade attack at the Criminal Court. (Photo by Apichit Jinakul)

Investigators are trying to determine how two alleged bombers arrested Saturday are connected to the supposed masterminds of the grenade attack outside the Criminal Court in hopes of also solving last month’s Siam Paragon bombing.

National police chief Somyot Pumpunmuang said Monday that authorities are collecting evidence to confirm statements by Yutthana Yenpinyo, 34, and Mahahin Khuntong, 34, that they were hired to carry out the attack.

Police issued arrest warrants for three more people on Monday and anyone suspected of involvement would be summoned for questioning, Pol Gen Somyot said.

Authorities today also linked Saturday's court blast with the two Feb 1 pipe-bombings in front of the Siam Paragon shopping centre. Both could have been carried out by the same group, the police chief said.

Army and National Council for Peace and Order spokesman Winthai Suwaree said in an interview with Chulalongkorn University's CU Radio that the suspects' statements were "somewhat convincing", but authorities needed more time to put all the evidence together before making further moves.

"Authorities have to correlate the suspects' statements with other witnesses and evidence before pressing charges against more people,'' the spokesman said.

Col Winthai noted that the hand grenade was thrown with "no intention to target individuals. Their goal was to stir trouble.''

One person reportedly linked by the suspects to the incident was former army chief and supreme commander Chaiyasit Shinawatra.

Gen Chaiyasit on Monday denied involvement in the blast but admitted he knew a girlfriend of one of the two men.

According to an earlier report, Gen Chaiyasit admitted he knew Mr Yutthana. Then he later denied knowing the two suspects. He said he knew only a woman named "Nat", but was unsure if she was a girlfriend of Mr Yutthaya or Mr Mahahin's.

''Don't drag me into bad things. I'm a real man and have already served the country as a soldier,'' he told a press conference at his house in Lum Luk Ka district of Pathum Thani.

He blasted authorities for asking the suspects leading questions in order to get them to link him to the bombing and vowed to fight in court to protect his reputation.

''I am confident the justice system in Thailand will give the Shinawatra family a place to stand, instead of trying to link all people bearing the Shinawatra name to all bad things without reason,'' he said.


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