A senior police officer, overseeing the investigation into the drowning of Thai TV actress Nida Patcharaveerapong, aka “Tangmo”, said today (Friday), the high-profile case may conclude in two months, while questioning the role of the Senate committee on human rights, freedom and consumer protection in the case and whether it could be interpreted as interfering in the police probe.
At a press conference held this afternoon at Nonthaburi police station, Pol Lt-Gen Jirapat Phumjit, commissioner of Provincial Police Region 1, said that the Senate committee suggested that the police conduct lie detector tests on Nida’s five friends who were on the same boat the night she fell into the Chao Phraya River in Nonthaburi district and died.
He explained that the police investigators handling the case will first have to decide what issues should be the subject of the tests and then consult experts on whether they could be tested.
He maintained that the lie detector machine is just a scientific tool used to detect the behavioural responses of the subject under test.
As for the speed boat, which the Senate committee said should be secured as evidence, he said that the police and forensic experts had already collected evidence from the vessel, which is currently impounded.
Pol Lt-Gen Jirapat disclosed that the investigators have questioned a total of 118 people, including suspects, accusers, three eyewitnesses, 18 experts and 92 circumstantial witnesses. They have also examined 200 recordings from 70 CCTV cameras, three smartphones, 14 other video clips and 40 pieces of material evidence.
He said that police are still waiting for the findings of the second autopsy on Nida’s body, conducted by the Central Institute of Forensic Science of the Justice Ministry, adding that, if the new findings conflict with the results of the first autopsy, further investigation will be required.
He also offered an assurance that the police have been handling the case in a straightforward manner and said that he hopes that the investigation can be wrapped up in the next 60 days.
The 37-year-old actress fell into Chao Phraya river on February 24th.