RTARF ready to explain Pakapong’s death to his family

The Royal Thai Armed Forces (RTARF) is ready to explain to the family of Pakapong Tanyakan, a first-year student of the Armed Forces Academies Preparatory School, about the probe result on the cadet's death, RTARF spokesman Lt Gen Notthapon Boonngam said on Saturday (Dec 16).

Lt Gen Notthapon said Gen Thanchaiyan Srisuwan, the supreme commander, had ordered the fact-finding commitee, chaired by deputy armed forces chief-of-staff ACM Chawarat Marungruang, to be ready to explain about Pakapong's death although it was not known whether the family would show up for the explanation on Monday (Dec 18) as invited or not.

The fact-finding committee said in a press conference on Dec 15 that Pakapong died of acute heart failure, not because he had been harmed by anybody.

Supicha Tanyakan, Pakapong's elder sister, told BBC Thai that the family received a letter from the pre-cadet school inviting them to hear the investigation result on Dec 18. However, she said the family would not be able to come as they already had an engagement at Ban Na police station in Nakhon Nayok province on that day.

Sources said the family were in the process of gathering documents to file a complaint with Ban Na police, seeking legal action against those who were involved in Pakapong's death, on Dec 19 or 20. They planned to use the autopsy conducted by the Central Institute of Forensic Science (CIFS) to back up the complain.

Sukanya Tanyakan, Pakapong's mother, posted on Facebook today (Dec 16) questioning the credibility of the conclusion of the RTARF fact-finding committee. She said the committee did not show all footage of a closed circuit television camera taken on Oct 17, the day Pakapong died.

She was also dissatisfied with the committee's comment that Pakapong had been disciplined because he did not say thanks to but showed dissatisfaction with senior students. She described the RTARF's press conference as shameful.

Pakapong, 18, collapsed at the school's medical division on Oct 17. He was rushed to Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy School Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 8.24pm. His body was later sent to Phramongkutklao Hospital in Bangkok for autopsy.

However, Pakapong's family suspected foul play in his death and asked Nakhon Nayok police to investigate the case. Police then requested the CIFS to conduct a second autopsy.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)