Army chief says VDO footage is just a piece of evidence

Army Commander-in-Chief General Chalermchai Sitthisart said Tuesday that the CCTV footage at the scene of the fatal shooting of Chaiyaphum Pasae, Lahu tribe activist, is just one piece of evidence that will not answer all the lingering questions about the shooting incident.

Rights groups have been demanding the release of the video footage to clear the air about whether a military officer shot the activist in an act of self-defence as claimed or he was intentionally shot.

The army chief said that the video footage in question was regarded as a piece of evidence that would be kept by the military and would not be discussed in public.

As far as the shooting incident was concerned, he said there were two cases � one concerning with narcotic drugs seized at the scene from a pickup truck and another concerning the performance of duty of the military.

Regarding Lt-Gen Vichak Siribansop, commander of the Third Region, who became the subject of criticism from rights groups from his remark that he would have opened fire in automatic mode in self-defence at Chaiyaphum alleged of trying to lob a hand grenade at the military personnel if he had been at the scene, General Chalermchai said the remark was a slip of the tongue.

He added he had warned the commander to be more discreet the next time he talks with the press.

Meanwhile, police deputy spokesman Pol Col Krisana Pattanachorn said police were still investigating the money trail of Chaiyaphum's bank accounts and could not reveal any details for the time being.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)