BANGKOK – Fourteen police officers face dereliction of duty charges over the killing of a police inspector at a birthday party in Nakhon Pathom in central Thailand on Sept 6.
Deputy National Police Chief Surachate Hakparn said on Sunday that they are facing charges for failing to help their two comrades.
Police Major Siwakorn Saibua, an inspector with the Highway Police’s second command, was shot dead at the dinner party. Another police officer was injured by a stray bullet.
The gathering was held at the home of 35-year-old Praween Chankhlai, a local sub-district chief also known as Nok.
An influential figure in Nakhon Pathom, Praween is the prime suspect in the case, the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) said on Friday.
The victim, Inspector Siwakorn, had reportedly rejected Praween’s request for the promotion of his nephew. This was believed to have prompted the shooting.
According to eyewitnesses, Praween’s alleged henchman, Thananchai Manmak, approached the dining table at the party and opened fire on Insp Siwakorn.
Some 30 police officers were present at the party, yet Praween and Thananchai managed to flee.
Thananchai was killed in a shootout with the CIB police in Kanchanaburi province two days later.
Praween surrendered to the police on Sept 7 and was detained on Sept 9. He used to run a business that bids for many government projects, and his business dealings are under investigation now.
CIB Commissioner Jirabhop Bhuridej said on Friday that Praween could face the death sentence.
He said investigators had gathered footage from 13 closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras. Another two cameras, which were pointing at the dining table, had been unplugged.
He added that the footage, along with witness statements and information on the gun, were sufficient to charge Praween with premeditated murder. THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK