CRIME SUPPRESSION Division (CSD) police today (Sep. 9) told the Criminal Court during a bail hearing for former village headman Mr. Praween Chanklai, or Kamnan Nok, that the suspect had ordered his subordinate to kill a policeman in the middle of a party at his house attended by several other policemen, Naewna newspaper said.
At the end of the hearing, the court on Ratchadapisek road ordered the 34-year-old suspect detained for the first 12-day judicial custody from Sep.9-20 and after that he was taken to Bangkok Remand Prison.
However Mr. Chao Kaensawat, the suspect’s lawyer, briefly mentioned that he had not applied for bail for his client because he had told him not to do so without giving any reasons. He has also denied all charges brought against him.
Even so the CSD police in objecting to the granting of bail said that the deceased policeman, Pol. Maj. Siwakorn Saibua, or Inspector Siew, an inspector at Subdivision 5 police station of the Highway Police, and the injured policeman, Pol. Lt. Col. Wasin Panpee, a deputy superintendent from Subdivision 6 police station, were among several policemen invited to a party at Praween’s house in Ta Kong subdistrict, Mueang Nakhon Pathom district, Nakhon Pathom province.
At around 9 p.m. after the suspect had quarreled with the deceased policeman he had ordered his subordinate, Mr. Thananchai Manmak, or Nong Thapha, 45, to use a 9mm semi-automatic pistol to kill the policeman right there and then.
Thananchai fired several shots at Pol. Maj. Siwakorn killing him on the spot with one shot accidently hitting Pol. Lt. Col. Wasin. He was himself shot dead in Kanchanaburi yesterday in an exchange of gunfire with police who were trying to arrest him.
Praween then ordered his staff to wash the blood stains, collect and throw away bullet casings and cut the server for the surveillance cameras at the house before fleeing.
After getting an arrest warrant from Nakhon Pathom Court on Thursday police were able to arrest Praween at around 6.30 p.m. that same day.
The CSD police team added that Praween had been a village headman of Takong subdistrict for nine years with the authority to investigate and arrest offenders only in his area of jurisdiction.
However over the years he built up his influence and was close to police officers at various stations and administrative officials too, inviting them to parties on various occasions which were also attended by senior police officers.
He also got close to local and national politicians.
The police team said before Pol. Maj. Siwakorn was shot dead Praween had asked him to approve the transfer of another policeman close to him but he had refused.
They added that the suspect is completely unafraid of the law as seen by him ordering the killing of a policeman right in front of his colleagues.
The police team also mentioned they had not yet completed the investigation as they had to question about 30 people while waiting for the result of fingerprint examination and also checking the suspect’s background.
The suspect, former village headman Mr. Praween Chanklai. Photos: Naewna