Man says police beat him after he declined to be witness in Koh Tao murder case

 
A Thai man said he was beaten up by police after he turned down a police offer of reward money if he agreed to be a witness in the murder case of two British tourists in Thailand’s tourist island of Koh Tao, southern Surat Thani Province, according to ASTV-Manager online.
 
The report says Pornprasit Sukdam, 37, on Tuesday complained to Kobchai Saowalak, kamnan (subdistrict head) of Koh Tao Subdistrict, and asked for protection. 
 
Pornprasit said the police detained him at 1.30 pm on Monday. During the interrogation, the police investigators asked him to agree to pretend to have knowledge of the incident, Pornprasit said. The police allegedly offered him a 700,000 baht (about 21,600 USD) reward and guaranteed him witness status. However, since he was not involved with the crime and did not have any knowledge related to it, Pornprasit declined the police offer. 
 
That made the police angry, he said. The police allegedly beat him up before releasing him on Monday at 6.30 pm.
 
He decided to tell his story to others since the police planned to interrogate him again on Tuesday and he feared being beaten up again.
 
He added that he does not plan to pursue a case against the police, but wants to assert his innocence. He is willing to cooperate with the police, but not by force.
 
Meanwhile, the kamnan of Koh Tao Subdistrict urged the police not to use violence with suspects and not to arrest a scapegoat. 
 
Pornprasit is a taxi driver on Koh Tao and member of the Sun Service Football team. A football match was held on the day of the murders. The team members are now the focus of the police investigation. 
 
The bodies of Hannah Witheridge, 23, and David Miller, 24, were found with severe head wounds on September 15. 
 
Read related news: Burmese migrants report Thai police beatings during murder investigation on Koh Tao