Court rules drug suspect tortured to death by police

After a two-year legal battle, a provincial court has concluded that a drug suspect who died in custody was beaten to death at the hands of police officers.

On 27 July 2017, the Provincial Court of Nakhon Ratchasima Province concluded that Anan Koedkaeo, 34, a drug trafficking suspect who died in suspicious circumstances, was tortured to death by police officers, according to the Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF).

The conclusion was reached after a lengthy trial in which 10 witnesses testified.

The court ruled that the physical injuries which appeared all over Anan’s body, especially his head, resulted from a physical assault by police officers and not from jumping from a bridge as he attempted to escape arrest, as the officers claimed.

The court said the case will be sent to the prosecutor for further investigation.

Anan was arrested by investigators from Nakhon Ratchasima Provincial Police on 9 November 2015. Two days later, the police told his family that he had been transferred to Maharat Nakhon Ratchasima Hospital. He died on 13 November.

In November 2016, Wasana and Phanom Koedkaeo, parents of Anan, sued the police for 9,653,500 baht for allegedly breaching the 1996 Governing Liability for Wrongful Acts of Competent Officers Act over the death of their son.