Court rules boy Isa was killed by soldiers

On 20 Dec, the Criminal Court delivered its ruling on the inquest into the death of 12-year-old Khunakorn Srisuwan, nicknamed Isa, saying that the boy was killed by a bullet fired by security officers performing their duty under the orders of the Centre for the Resolution of Emergency Situation.

Isa was shot by a high-velocity bullet which hit his back and passed through his body near the Airport Link station on Ratchaprarop Rd on the night of 15 May 2010, during an incident when military troops opened fire at a van which entered the military’s no-go zone.

Phan Khamkong, a taxi driver whose death was the first to be ruled by the court to have been caused by the military, was also shot in this same incident when he came out of a building to see what was happening.   

Samon Maithong, the van driver who was seriously injured by gunshots in the incident, later testified as a witness in Phan’s inquest that he did not hear any announcement by the military before his van was bombarded with gunfire.  He was shot with .223 (5.56 mm) calibre bullets, the same type of bullets found in Phan’s body.

Samorn’s van after the gunfire

However, according to Nation TV reporter Thananut Sanguansak, who was covering the event at the scene on that night, the military had given warnings and fired rubber bullets, but Samorn still drove through, and crashed into the barbed wire fence.  So the military opened fire.

She reported that a boy, whose name was unknown to her at the time, was killed by a stray bullet.  This boy had always been hanging around the military bunkers, and would not go home although the soldiers had tried to chase him away.

Nation TV report on the incident

Somsak Wan-aelo, an official working for an international Muslim charity organization, who acted as the guardian of Isa, was present at the court to hear the ruling, and he told reporters that he had not yet received any compensation from the government.

Before his death, Isa had been living in an orphanage which provided vocational training for orphans.

This is the fourth inquest in which the court has ruled that the death was caused by security officers, following the cases of Phan Khamkong, Charnnarong Pholsrila and Chartchai Chalao.

The court has set 16 Jan 2013 to give another ruling, this time on the inquest into the death of Bunmee Roemsuk, 71, who was shot in the stomach at Bonkai on Rama IV Rd on 14 May 2010, and died on 28 July 2010.