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Who really is the grenade thrower?

21/01/2014

The Nation is reporting that the Thai police are offering a Bt500,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of a man seen on surveillance-camera footage throwing a grenade at the anti-government rally site at Victory Monument on Sunday afternoon.   

An arrest warrant will soon be obtained for the man, who Camronwit said was not a naval special-operations officer, as was earlier rumoured after a mugshot of a different, wrongfully implicated person was distributed widely on social media. However, this could just be an automatic reflex action by those supporting the protesters in order to discredit the pro-government side. No-one commenting on events knows the real identity of the main perpetrators. What we do know is that they are unlikely to face arrest and trial. 

The attack, which wounded 28 people including protesters, was the second grenade attack on an anti-government rally.

Arrest warrants for two suspects sought in connection with a grenade attack last Friday on a protesters’ march were also anticipated, Camronwit said, adding that Bt500,000 rewards have also been offered for information on these two suspected attackers, seen acting suspiciously in video footage.

Pol Maj-General Adul Narongsak, said the three suspects in the two attacks were likely connected to one another, as the same type of Russian-made RGD-5 grenade was used in both attacks.

Adul said more investigation was needed to confirm the identity of a suspect in the Victory Monument grenade attack. Photos of a former close aide to slain red-shirt leader Maj-General Khattiya “Seh Daeng” Sawasdiphol have been circulated in the social media comparing him to security-camera images of the man who threw grenade at the protest site.

The two suspects in last Friday’s attack were seen wearing white caps and driving a getaway pickup truck, said Adul. He added that Phya Thai police were further examining the footage and had interviewed a number of witnesses.

CAPO director and deputy prime minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said verification was needed to determine who the person in the footage was. He said that PDRC leaders would be invited over to discuss joint security measures with the police, as advised by Army commander General Prayuth Chan-ocha.

The suspect, if or when apprehended, would be charged with causing a harmful explosion, attempted murder (multiple counts), possessing and using an explosive without permission, four charges relating to the carrying of such a weapon and using it in a public area without good reason. People can report sightings of the man to 1559

or via http://www.facebook.com/team.policespokesmen.

Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra said guards working for protest organisers would, with the help of city police, remove black plastic bags covering 16 surveillance cameras at Victory Monument rally site. Footage from privately owned cameras was being gathered as further evidence.

Department of Special Investigation chief Tarit Pengdit said investigations into frequent attacks on security guards at rally sites were being handled by police. The DSI would take them over only if its Special Cases Board agreed to accept them.

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