Pubdate: Tue, 05 Aug 2014
Source: Bangkok Post (Thailand)
Copyright: The Post Publishing Public Co., Ltd. 2014
Page: 3


LCT backs attempted murder charge

Three Bang Chan policemen who mistook a female law student from
Chulalongkorn University for a drug dealer and opened fire at her car
should be charged with attempted murder, said the Lawyers Council of
Thailand (LCT).

Sunthorn Payak, deputy chairman of the LCT, said the three policemen
shot at the car even though they knew someone was driving it.

The people responsible for that had intent to harm or to kill, said
the lawyer, who is in charge of providing legal aid for the council.

"The three police officers should be charged with attempted murder,"
he said.

Mr Sunthorn said the Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB) is investigating
the wrongful shooting and can press the charge against the officers if
it sees fit.

The MPB set up a panel to investigate the incident and has said the
case could be cleared up in seven days.

Mr Sunthorn said the LCT has offered legal aid to the third-year law
student if she feels the police treat her case unfairly.

The shooting took place about 2pm on Saturday when police in pursuit
of a drug suspect mistook a car driven by Apisada Sajjapanroj, 21, for
that of the drug dealer.

The incident occurred at an intersection on Ramkhamhaeng Soi

Ms Apisada was overtaken by an unmarked black pickup

Four plainclothes police officers then emerged from the vehicle and
surrounded her car, but did not identify themselves as police.

Ms Apisada said she became frightened when she saw a gun protruding
from the waistband of the man standing on the driver's side of the

She reversed quickly and hit a car behind her. One of the police
officers then raised his pistol and fired several shots at Ms
Apisada's car.

She accelerated and crashed into several more vehicles before coming
to a stop when her right front tyre was deflated by bullets.

The men then identified themselves as policemen and searched her car
but found nothing.

The officers left the scene when Ms Apisada's relatives

Mr Sunthorn said that apart from the criminal charge, Ms Apisada
should also file a civil case against the police officers and the
Royal Thai Police.

The civil case should address the fact that officers failed to perform
their duties, harmed an innocent member of the public and caused
damage to property.

"Personally I think this [the wrongful shooting incident] is the

"Ms Apisada should file a civil suit against the police involved to
prevent a recurrence of the incident," he said.

Nanthasak Pulsuk, director-general of the Special Litigation
Department at the Office of the Attorney-General, said the direct
supervisors of the three Bang Chan officers should also be held partly
responsible for the failure of their staff.

Mr Nanthasak said an investigation is underway to decide whether their
supervisors should also face criminal charges.

He said the police officers were extremely unprofessional and failed
to plan or direct their work in the correct manner.

They also lack the required knowledge and training that is needed to
collect evidence properly, he said.

Deputy police chief Pongsapat Pongcharoen, who is in charge of drug
suppression, has apologised for the wrongful shooting.

He vowed to replace the damaged car with a new one and transfer the
police to temporary administrative duties pending an

Pol Sub-Lt Supot Toket will be transferred to Prawet station, Pol Sr
Sgt Maj Rassami Theptha to Hua Mak and Pol Sr Sgt Maj Chamnian
Khandaeng to Udomsuk.

He did not mention one other policeman who was reported to have been
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