Nakhon Sawan –
Thitisan “Joe” Utthanaphon who was arrested for allegedly suffocating a drug suspect to death in August has denied the charge of torturing the suspect to death during a court hearing yesterday, November 19th.
The former Nakhon Sawan superintendent and his six subordinates were called for the first hearing at Nakhon Sawan Provincial Court for the case of allegedly covering a suspect’s head while attempting to question the drug suspect at a police station in August. The 24-year-old victim was pronounced dead afterward.
Thitisan, as the first defendant, pleaded guilty to a charge of a crime for wrongfully exercising official duties under Section 157 and Section 172 of the Criminal Code and for illegal detention under Section 309.
However, he denied the charge of jointly causing death by inflicting injury upon the body of another person without intent to cause death under section 289.
He declared to the Court that he and his subordinates had no intention of killing the victim but wanted to get more information from the victim in terms of drug networks and to help stop the spread of drugs in Thailand. He insisted that his actions were “the intention to work for the benefit of the country without any intention to commit any corruption in my duty or extort money from the victim as being accused.”
Initially, the court is under the process of scheduling the date for evidence examination and for witnesses interrogations.
The case has driven intense interest in social media, TPN media notes, with many stating that the case and investigation, as well as trial, must be fully transparent for the public.