Police Deny Torturing Bangkok Bombing Suspect

Adem Karadag,31, aka Bilal Mohammed, is led Tuesday from the military court in Bangkok.

BANGKOK — The head investigator of Bangkok’s deadly August shrine bombing said today their chief suspect in the attack was never tortured as alleged by his lawyer, who may be charged for defaming the police.

A day after defense lawyer Schoochart Kanpai publicly accused police of torturing his client, 31-year-old Adem Karadag, police officials today insisted neither Karadag, who is also known as Bilal Mohammed, nor co-defendant Yusufu Mieraili were ever physically or psychologically abused.

“The case has already passed the interrogation stage, there is nothing we can do,” said police Lt. Gen. Sriwarah Rangsitpramkul. “We shall wait for the court’s judgment.”

Schoochart said he petitioned the court Jan. 15 to investigate the alleged abuse of his client.

Seeking to discredit Schoochart, Sriwarah on Wednesday showed a clip of the lawyer speaking to reporters after visiting Karadag on Sept. 30, about a week after his client alleges he was tortured into confession. In the clip, the lawyer states his client confessed to placing the bomb that killed 20 people Aug. 17.

 

After first denying his client had confessed, lawyer Schoochart Kanpai tells reporters Sept. 30 that Adem Karadag had admitted his role in the Aug. 17 attack.

 

“Adem (Karadag) confessed willingly to placing the bomb at Erawan Shrine himself,” Schoochart says in the video. “He said Abdullah Abdullahman, who helped him enter the country, ordered him to do it.”

In a statement provided to reporters Tuesday, Schoochart said Abdullahman was a trafficker Karadag used to enter Thailand illegally in a bid to reach Malaysia for employment.

Schoochart also denied that his client ever made a lawful confession, and therefore did not recant his statement. He said it was police who spread word of a confession. Karadag himself, however, alleged in a letter that he did make a false confession after hours of torture.

Asked about his recorded comments from Sept. 30 that Karadag had voluntarily confessed, Schoochart said he didn’t have all the facts at the time.

“It was because that day I had not yet talked with the defendant in detail,” he said. “It also concerned the security issue of both the defendant and the lawyer.”

Both the lawyer and police official said medical records would support their version of events.

Sriwarah said he’s ordered Schoochart’s statements be investigated, saying the lawyer will be criminally charged if they conclude he intended to defame the police or nation.

 

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