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No graft in 20 years, says PM

The niece of an army conscript who was beaten to death during military training in 2011 has asked Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to suspend from duty one of the 10 officers facing an investigation into the incident.

Naritsarawan Kaewnopparat, the niece of Pvt Wichian Puaksom, who died in Narathiwat Ratchanakarin army camp five years ago, submitted her request through Government House's complaints centre on Thursday.

She sought the suspension of Maj Phuri Perksopon at the Infantry Regiment 151, Kalayaniwattana Camp.

In her petition, Ms Naritsarawan, 25, said the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC), which is investigating Pvt Wichian's case, had ruled the allegation against the 10 officers including Maj Phuri had grounds, pursuant to Criminal Code Section 157 and Section 83 and the Military Criminal Code Article 30 Paragraph 2.Nine of the officers were suspended pending the investigation, but Maj Phuri, their commander, was not.

Naritsarawan Kaewnopparat (photoy by

Facebook/Naritsarawan Kaewnopparat)

Ms Naritsarawan will also lodge her petition at the Defence Ministry and the Royal Thai Army.

She said if her request to suspend Maj Phuri from his position is rejected, she wanted to hear an explanation from the authorities.

Ms Naritsarawan is now free on bail after Maj Phuri filed a defamation charge against her last month.

In May 2011, Pvt Wichian, a master's degree

graduate in social administration from Thammasat University, was posted to Narathiwat Ratchanakarin army camp in Cho Airong district. He died of acute renal failure on June 5 after a beating administered by troops at the camp. A probe found he was beaten by instructors as punishment for disobeying orders and absconding from camp.

Pvt Wichian's family had filed complaints against the Ministry of Defence, the army and the Office of the Prime Minister (as the supervisory body of the Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc) Wichian Puaksom, seen here as a student at

Region 4). The Civil Court in February 2014 ruled Thammasat University in 2010 (Photo by

in favour of the plaintiff and asked the army to pay Facebook/Naritsarawan Kaewnopparat)

them compensation of 6.5 million baht.

On criminal offences, the family filed complaints against the soldiers who tortured Pvt Wichian. But the complaint had to be handled by the Military Court as it involved military officials. As a result, the plaintiff in the case is not the family but the military prosecution office. The case is still under investigation by the PACC.

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