NAKHON PHANOM — The wife of a prominent anti-monarchy activist who went missing last year said Monday she believes her husband is dead and that his body was stolen and destroyed.
Pranee Danwattanusorn, wife of Surachai Danwattanusorn, who disappeared in December while living in exile in Laos, went to the police in Nakhon Phanom province to file a complaint over the possible destruction of the corpse. She accused the ruling junta of being involved in the death of her husband and two of his compatriots, whose mutilated bodies were recovered from the Mekong River.
“We need to uncover the truth behind their gruesome death,” she said. “If the government stays silent, it’s possible that they were behind the brutal murder of the three men.”
She speculated that they were abducted and murdered for being outspoken dissidents of the military government and the monarchy.
Lt. Col. Sooksawas Bua-In of Tha Uthen police station said investigators have questioned Pranee and would report the case to the commanders later today.
Two disemboweled bodies were found on the Thai side of the river late December and identified by DNA tests to be Surachai’s aides Chatchan Boopphawal, 56, and Kraidet Luelert, 47, who went missing with him. The corpses were wrapped in sacks with their hands cuffed and ankles tied with ropes. Their faces were also smashed in and their stomachs gutted and filled with concrete blocks.
Tha Uthen police have denied that a third corpse that could belong to Surachai was found and disappeared. According to a local reporter, a village headman had secured a body found in the river and notified police, but the corpse went missing before officers came to the scene.
Surachai has been wanted by Thai authorities on charges of royal defamation. He fled the country and actively promoted the republican cause in Laos. Chatchan and Kraidet were said to be hardcore Redshirt supporters.