Camera-shy ex-policeman Montri was sentenced to five years at this Appeal Court hearing in July, 2015, for his role in the murder of a teenager during Thaksin’s war on drugs in 2004. (Screen cap via ThaiPBS)
An arrest warrant was issued Thursday for a former chief of Muang district police station in Kalasin after he failed to show up to hear the Supreme Court’s ruling in the case brought against him and five other police officers over the 2004 murder of a drug suspect.
A lawyer representing Pol Col Montri Sriboonlue, 68, told the court he could not contact his client, which led the judge to issue the warrant for Pol Col Montri for intending to escape.
Pol Col Montri, who was sentenced to five years in prison and granted bail by the Appeal Court, is banned from leaving the country.
Due to his absence, the judge ordered that his one-million-baht surety be confiscated and delayed the ruling until Oct 11.
According to the suit filed by Kittisap Thitbunkrong, the father of Kiattisak Thitbunkrong, the murdered 17-year-old drug suspect, the six police officers at Muang police station of Kalasin on July 22, 2004 colluded in strangling Kiattisak at the station.
The six people in question are Pol Col Montri, Pol Snr Sgt Maj Angkhan Khammunna, 54, Pol Snr Sgt Maj Sutthinan Nonthing, 49, Pol Snr Sgt Maj Phansin Uppanan, 48, Pol Lt Col Samphao Indi, 57, and Pol Lt Col Sumit Nansathit, 51.
The lawsuit also said the six officers were allegedly later involved in taking the body of the teen to a hut by a paddy field in Ban Bueng Don in Roi Et’s Chan Han district to conceal the alleged murder.
Between July 30, 2004 and April 27, 2005, Pol Lt Col Samphao, Pol Col Montri and Pol Lt Col Sumit were involved in threatening a number of people into posing as false witnesses and making up accounts to create an alibi, the court was told.
The witnesses were told to say they had seen Kiattisak at a local market on the night of the murder, according to a statement presented to the court.
The police had expected to use the false witness statements as evidence to prove their claims they had nothing to do with the death of the teen suspect, it said.
The six defendants, who were charged with premeditated murder and concealing a corpse, denied any wrongdoing.
Pol Lt Col Samphao and Pol Lt Col Sumit were also released on bail but they showed up to hear the ruling.
The other three defendants remained in prison and were brought from Bang Kwang central prison to the court Thursday.
The lower court on July 30, 2012 sentenced Pol Snr Sgt Maj Angkhan, Pol Snr Sgt Maj Sutthinan and Pol Snr Sgt Maj Phansin to death and Pol Col Montri and Pol Lt Col Sumit to seven years in prison. Pol Lt Col Samphao was acquitted.
Later on July 23, 2015, the Appeal Court upheld the death sentence for Pol Snr Sgt Maj Angkhan, Pol Snr Sgt Maj Sutthinan and Pol Snr Sgt Maj Phansin. Pol Snr Sgt Maj Sutthinan’s death sentence was commuted to 50 years in prison.
The Appeal Court reversed the acquittal ruling and sentenced Pol Lt Col Samphao to life imprisonment. Pol Col Montri and Pol Lt Col Sumit were given five years each.