12 July 2024

The Attorney General’s spokespeople today (Wednesday) promised not to release seven former police officers, currently detained for allegedly murdering a suspect in custody, without concluding the case.

Speaking at a press conference, for the handing over of 2,500 pages of case files by the police to the public prosecutors, Deputy Spokesman for the Office of the Attorney-General, Prayut Petchkun, assured the public that the Attorney General will be able to decide whether to indict the men before their detention periods expire on November 17th and 18th.

The former officers from the northern province of Nakhon Sawan, led by Thitisan Uttanaphon, better known as “Joe Ferrari”, were seen suffocating a suspect to death with layersof plastic bags over his head, in a leaked video in August.

Following a public backlash, they were quickly dismissed from the force and arrested.

Charges of murder by torture or brutal acts, malfeasance in office, negligence of duty and coercion have now been filed by the police with the Attorney General.

In an interview with Thai PBS World on August 27th, Human Rights Watch’s Senior Thailand Researcher Sunai Phasuk revealed that police torture of drug suspects in custody is, in fact, very common in Thailand and that this case only gained public attention due to the leaked video.

He has, however, voiced doubts that justice will finally be served, echoing a common perception in Thailand that the rich, powerful and well-connected often get away with their crimes.

“Joe Ferrari” is also being investigated for his unusual wealth, especially the collection of sports cars that earns him his nickname, thanks to the reward system at the Customs Department, where he and other police officers received cash rewards for the smuggled luxurious cars they seized.