BANGKOK Police defend men in black; no live ammunition fired## SUTHEB ANSWER

Suthep Thaugsuban (19.49): Today the National Police Bureau, for the first time, admitted to the presence of police officers shooting down from the rooftop of the Labor Ministry building at Din Daeng on 26 Dec. 2013. Thank you, National Police chief Pol General Adul Saengsingkaew – your direct answers are appreciated. However, the police has not yet provided answers on who issued the instructions for this operations. I think there are two individuals who could be held responsible: Labor Minister Chalerm Yubamroong and National Police deputy chief Worapong Chewpreecha.

 (19.58): Deputy Worapong, you should be prepared to be taken to court. (Caretaker Labor Minister) Chalerm, your accusations of the protesters’ insanity on national television today makes you seem insane. You also threatened that I could end up being shot like (PAD leader) Sonthi Limthongkul. I’m not afraid of you, Chalerm!
20.26): Reforming the organizational structure of the police force will free law-abiding policemen from political influence and the abusive authority of their superiors by ensuring the police is held accountable to the public.

19.53): The police had no right to be atop the Labor Ministry in the first instance. The anti-government protesters were unarmed, therefore, there were no grounds for the police to take cover in self-defence on top of the building and shoot at protesters. I believe that Chalerm and Worapong conspired to falsely accuse the protesters from day 1 despite fully knowing it was police officers on top of the Labor Ministry.


BANGKOK, Jan 2 – Police said the so-called “men in black” seen on a building rooftop were actually policemen and they did not fire live ammunition at anti-government protesters who tried to break into the Thai-Japanese stadium last month.

Metropolitan police deputy commander Pol Gen Vorapong Chewpreecha admitted today that the black-clad men seen on the rooftop of labour ministry’s building on Dec 23 were a crowd-control unit of 10 policemen.

He clarified the matter after police chief Pol Gen Adul Saengsingkaew confirmed that the men were police personnel and promised a full investigation and disciplinary action if found guilty.

Gen Vorapong explained that the ten-man unit was deployed to guard the area. All wore bullet-proof vests.

Pol Lt Gen Sophon Pisuthiwong, as deputy commander of police operations on that day, said all ten officers dispatched to observe the situation as the police on site were surrounded by protesters. The police had only one teargas launcher and one weapon which fired rubber bullets.

The senior police officer said 11 police were wounded in Dec 23 shooting, while some others were hurt by fireworks or homemade explosives introduced by an unknown group of people who intervened to instigate unrest.

Pol Gen Jarumporn Suramanee, adviser to the Royal Thai Police Office, said the killing of Pol Sen Sgt Maj Narong Pitisit who was shot dead in the incident was not the work of the men in black on the rooftop.

He said an autopsy stated that Pol Sen Sgt Maj was not shot from above, but from a horizontal trajectory.

Gen Jarumporn noted that four types of cartridge casings were found at clash sites, including 9mm, 11mm, 38mm and 32mm, adding that experts believe 16 firearms were used in the attack, while police had only batons and shields. (MCOT online news)

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