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Rebels weren't executed

By Anucha Charoenpo, Bangkok Post
28 January 2000

Police deny they tied the wrists of the God's Army guerrillas or that they forced the raiders to strip and kneel before shooting them. What appeared in a photograph to be binding on the wrists of one of them was a talisman and some electric cable, Pol Gen Pracha Promnok, the national police chief, said.

The cable was applied after the guerrilla had been killed to enable police to lift the body to check there were no booby-traps underneath him, Pol Gen Pracha said.

Photographs of the bodies in Khao Sod newspaper on Tuesday were taken while the bodies were being taken out and prepared by rescue workers. The clothes had been removed from the bodies for the purposes of medical examination, he said. Police could not have ordered them to strip while they were still armed and in a position to attack the assault party. Police had acted in self-defence and had not over-reacted, he said.

Pol Maj-Gen Chalermchart Sitanont, deputy commissioner of Region 7, assigned to oversee the examination of the corpses, said fingerprints would be taken to establish their identities.

Pol Col Pracha Vichairak, deputy commander of Ratchaburi police, said the dead rebels' clothes were removed to make sure they did not have any explosives attached to their bodies.

An inquiry has been set up to find out who released the photos showing the dead rebels in their underwear to Khao Sod. A police source said the scene had been closed to the media. Only police were present.

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