Kwanchai Shooting: Army Postpones Suspects Transfer

Mr. Kwanchai Praipana with his family members in hospital

(17 February) The military has not yet handed to the police four suspects currently wanted for their alleged roles in assassination attempts on a Redshirt leader.

Four military officers based in the 9th Infantry Division are accused of the drive-by shooting at the residence of Mr. Kwanchai Praipana, a local leader of the United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), in Udon Thani province last month. 
Mr. Kwanchai was critically wounded in the attack but has since recovered from his injuries. 
According to the police, the Royal Thai Army has previously promised to surrender the four suspects into the police custody by Monday morning for an interrogation, but the police have not received the suspects so far. 
Sources inside the police force assert that the police have failed to contact any commander in the army concerning the four suspects, and the 9th Infantry Division has similarly refused to return calls seeking the transfer of the suspects.
The sources claimed that the 9th Infantry Division, which locates in Kanchanaburi Province, has also withheld two pick-up trucks thought to be used by the four suspects during their assassination attempt on Mr. Kwanchai. 
The military has not stated any reason for the delay in transferring the suspect to the police, according to the sources.
Pol.Col. Kovit Charoenwattanasak of Udon Thani police said the officers have already prepared a secure venue for interrogation of the four military officers where Redshirts protesters cannot cause any disruption to the procedure; local Redshirts have encouraged supporters of Mr. Kwanchai to rally in front of police stations where the suspects would be held. 
"I believe we can reach understanding with the Redshirts," Pol.Col. Kovit said, "I believe there won′t be any problem". 
Pol.Col. Kovit also indicated that the military has asked for the rights to choose a venue of its own, but the police have denied that request, as the investigation is strictly under police authorities.



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