6 June 2024

Senator Somchai Sawangkarn has suggested that the five companions, on board the speed boat with drowned TV actress Nida Patcharaveerapong, aka “Tangmo”, take lie detector tests, because their statements to police conflict with each other, as the case has seen very little progress, after almost a month, amid a media circus surrounding the people close to the late star.

Somchai, who heads the Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights, Rights, Liberties and Consumer Protection, said today (Monday) that he suspects that the five people might have been coached by someone before they were questioned by police.

Today, the Senate committee invited the police and forensic pathologists, involved in handling Nida’s case, to report their findings in the case.

Speaking to the media after the meeting, the senator said he also suggested that the police try to locate Nida’s scarf, which is reported to have gone missing, noting that it might provide an additional clue in the case.

Somchai said that there have been many suspicions raised about the case and concerning the police handling of it, including that there might have been foul play on board the speed boat when Nida fell into the Chao Phraya River on the night of February 24th. 

He pointed out that these suspicions could complicate the police investigation and might prolong the case.

Meanwhile, the lawyer of Nida’s mother asked the media and the public to trust the police, as he expects the case to be wrapped up within this month.

So far, only two of Nida’s five companions have been charged by the police with negligence causing the death of another. 

Senator Khunying Pornthip Rojanasunan, a member of the senate committee and a forensic expert, said today that the evidence complied by the police so far, be it from the body, from the boat or from statements of witnesses, are not sufficient to conclude that Nida was murdered.

She said that it is yet to be confirmed whether the deep cut, which was found on Nida’s leg, occurred before or after she fell into the river.

From her observation of the second autopsy, conducted by pathologists from Chulalongkorn, Ramathibodi and Thammasat hospitals, Khunying Pornthip said there were no indications of assault before the fall.

Meanwhile, an actor and representative of Nida’s family, urged the late actress’s five companions to tell the truth to the police about what happened on the night of her death. He said that the case could not be concluded unless the suspicions are addressed and allayed.

A group of Nida’s loyal fans also submitted a petition, addressed to Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin, urging him to ensure justice in this high-profile case.