Court orders 1.9 million baht compensation for soldier beaten to death

The Army has been ordered to pay over 1.8 million baht to the mother of a soldier beaten to death in custody. Meanwhile, the trial over the death of another soldier has been postponed as witnesses failed to show up.
 
On 22 February 2018, the Bangkok Civil Court ruled that the Royal Thai Army must pay 1.87 million baht in compensation to the family of Corporal Kittikorn Suthiraphan. He was beaten to death in February 2016 while in detention at a military camp in Surin.
 
According to the Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF), the Army arrested Kittikorn on 30 January 2016 for sheltering an escaped prisoner and detained him at the 25th Army Circle from 1 February until his death on 21 February.
 
While he was detained, his mother requested bail and asked to see him, but the authorities refused, saying that a high-ranking officer had prohibited visits. The authorities informed her that the soldier died of the cold, but she found marks of injuries on his body and bruises on his neck, which are inconsistent with “death from the cold”. 
 
His mother sued the Army in March 2016, and the Court ruled that Kittikorn was beaten to death by four conscripts. According to the investigation report, severe injuries to his head and stomach were the cause of death. The head of the prison intentionally failed to report his injuries to a doctor and also threatened Kittikorn’s cellmates not to help him. Officers also told them to beat the soldier even after he had fallen unconscious.
 
 
Kittikorn Suthiraphan (Photo from The Nation)
 
In a related development, the trial concerning the death of another soldier during training was postponed when witnesses failed to appear. On Monday, the Civil Court held a hearing in the suit brought against the Army by the wife of Sub Lt Sanan Thongdinok over her husband's death.
 
In June 2015, Sanan participated in a King’s Guard Regiment training course. He was ordered to swim non-stop and was left drowning for at least five minutes until he died. 
 
The prosecution asked the court to summon two army officers who witnessed the incident, but neither showed up. The court then postponed the hearing to 12 June.