Police accuse bombing suspect’s lawyer of defaming Thailand

The Thai police have denied allegations that they tortured suspects in the 2015 Erawan shrine bombing, while hinting that they might press charges against a lawyer of one of the suspects, saying that he allegedly caused damage to the nation.

On Wednesday, 17 February 2016, the chief investigator into the deadly 2015 Erawan shrine bombing denied allegations that one of the suspects, Adem Karadag, a Chinese ethnic Uighur, was tortured to force a confession.

He said that neither Karadag nor the other defendant in the case, Yusufu Mieraili, were tortured during the investigation procedures as alleged.

On Monday, Karadag recanted his earlier confession. Choochart Kanpai, his defence lawyer, said that his client was coerced into confessing by torture.

The lawyer said that he submitted a petition to the court last month to ask the court to investigate allegations of abuse of his client.   

According to Khaosod English, in a letter addressed to the president of the Uyghur American Association, suspected Bangkok bomber Adem Karadag alleged he was tortured and coerced into confessing through various methods of physical abuse, such as beating, waterboarding and being intimidated by a barking dog in close proximity.  

The suspect added in the letter that the authorities also threatened to kill him and send him back to China.    

Yesterday, the Thai News Agency reported that Pol Gen Srivara Rangsibrahmanakul, Deputy Chief of the Royal Thai Police, rejected the torture allegations, saying that in September 2015, Choochart said that Karadag had confessed and had not been tortured.

He said that the process to interrogate the suspect was accountable and transparent and that the suspect underwent a physical examination before he was sent to the Bangkok Remand Prison

“The case has already passed the interrogation stage, there is nothing we can do,” Khaosod English quoted Pol Gen Srivara as saying. “We shall wait for the court’s judgment.”

The Deputy Police Chief also told the media that the torture allegations made against the police by Choochart discredited interrogation officers and caused damage to the nation’s reputation.

He said that the police will gather evidence and hinted that the police might file a complaint under criminal defamation laws against Choochart.

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