4th Army to sue man over army bru­tal­ity claim

In­ter­nal probe turns up no ev­i­dence

Bangkok Post - - NATIONAL - ABDULLOH BENJAKAT

The Fourth Army Re­gion is pre­pared to file crim­i­nal and civil law­suits against a man who has ac­cused the army of tor­ture and bru­tal­ity over a tele­vi­sion pro­gramme which was broad­cast last week.

The for­ward com­mand of In­ter­nal Se­cu­rity Op­er­a­tions Com­mand (Isoc) un­der the Fourth Army yes­ter­day filed a com­plaint against Isamaae Tae with po­lice in Muang district of Pat­tani.

Lt Col Set­th­a­sit Kaewkoon­muang, a le­gal of­fi­cer at­tached to Isoc Re­gion 4, said the com­plaint will serve as ev­i­dence when the mil­i­tary pur­sue crim­i­nal and civil law­suits against Mr Isamaae.

The com­plaint in­volves an ac­cu­sa­tion Mr Isamaae made dur­ing the tele­vi­sion pro­gramme “Pol­icy by the Peo­ple” broad­cast on the Thai PBS sta­tion on Feb 5. He claimed to have been tor­tured by se­cu­rity of­fi­cers to con­fess to a crime.

Lt Col Set­th­a­sit said of­fi­cials have looked into Mr Isamaae’s ac­cu­sa­tion and found it to be ground­less.

Fourth Army com­man­der and Isoc Re­gion 4 chief Lt Col Piyawat Nak­wanich has asked the le­gal di­vi­sion to take ac­tion be­cause the ac­cu­sa­tion dam­aged the rep­u­ta­tion of the Fourth Army and the Isoc Re­gion 4.

Ac­cord­ing to Lt Col Set­th­a­sit, Mr Isamaae gath­ers in­for­ma­tion about the deep South for me­dia or­gan­i­sa­tions and he has per­sis­tently made the ac­cu­sa­tion against the mil­i­tary.

In one case, the for­ward com­mand filed a defama­tion law­suit against the ed­i­tor of a me­dia out­let over the ac­cu­sa­tion and the law­suit was set­tled out of court.

He said he is not wor­ried about public pres­sure and the le­gal ac­tion is in­tended to have the ac­cu­sa­tion heard and set­tled by the jus­tice sys­tem.

Mean­while, bomb spe­cial­ists yes­ter­day morn­ing de­fused a home-made bomb at­tached to a bi­cy­cle in Yala’s Yarang district.

Bomb ex­perts and lo­cal po­lice were alerted to a bike which had been left in front of a mosque in Ban Ton Makham in sus­pi­cious cir­cum­stances.

An ex­am­i­na­tion of the bi­cy­cle found a time bomb hid­den in­side the drink­ing bot­tle at­tached to the frame.

Author­i­ties sealed off the traf­fic as the bomb dis­posal team went to work.

The de­vice was suc­cess­fully det­o­nated in a con­trolled en­vi­ron­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to an ini­tial in­ves­ti­ga­tion, the bi­cy­cle was of the same se­ries and make as those found with bombs at­tached to them in sev­eral lo­ca­tions in three dis­tricts of Pat­tani on Feb 11.

On Sun­day morn­ing, six ex­plo­sions took place in Yar­ing, Yarang and Sai Buri dis­tricts.

A po­lice source said CCTV cam­eras in Yarang district had cap­tured three peo­ple be­lieved to have been in­volved.

The string of blasts in Pat­tani, some of which were in­tended to lure of­fi­cers to the scene where se­condary bombs were planted, was thought to be the work of a mil­i­tant group which wanted to “demon­strate its power” af­ter re­ports that some in­sur­gent sus­pects had de­cided to turn them­selves in to author­i­ties, a po­lice source said ear­lier.

Mean­while, the Na­tional Se­cu­rity Coun­cil yes­ter­day vis­ited the 44th Ranger Forces camp in Sai Buri district where Lt Gen Piyawat Nak­wanich, com­man­der of the 4th Army Re­gion, chaired a meet­ing on how to pro­vide as­sis­tance to for­mer in­sur­gency groups who turn them­selves in and wish to re-in­te­grate to so­ci­ety.

Lt Gen Piyawat said rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the NSC as well as the jus­tice and in­te­rior min­istries were in­vited to in­spect progress as 103 of the for­mer in­sur­gents who had ap­plied to join the pro­gramme, went through the na­tion­al­ity ver­i­fi­ca­tion process as part of their re-en­try to so­ci­ety.

ABDULLOH BENJAKAT

A bi­cy­cle seized in Pat­tani’s Yarang district yes­ter­day. EOD of­fi­cers de­stroyed a bomb hid­den in the water can­is­ter at­tached to the bike.

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