Provincial Court Approves Further Detention for ‘Jo Ferrari’

On Friday, the Nakhon Sawan court approved further detention against Pol Col Thitisan Utthanaphon, the former police station chief accused of torturing a drug suspect to death.

Police from Muang District Station in Nakhon Sawan requested to keep the former officer in custody for further 12 days, who has become widely-known by the nickname “Jo Ferrari”, arguing that investigators still had to question 10 witnesses.

Yesterday, the court accepted that request. Under the current Thai law, a suspect can be detained for up to seven 12-day periods or 84 days before an indictment is issued.

Given the high-profile nature of the case, which shocked the entire country, National Police Chief Suwat Jangyodsuk ordered Bangkok’s central Crime Suppression Division (CDS) to take over local police’s investigation.

Also, police officers told the court that Pol Col Thitisan should remain under arrest, as he could face charges of torture and murder.

But the man, known as “Jo Ferrari” by his colleagues, denied wrongdoing, saying he did not intend to extort money from the young suspect Jeerapong Thanapat, 24, who died at his station.

The court also approved another request for arrest against Pol Lt Thoranin Maswanna, Pol Col Thitisan’s right-hand man.

He was sent back to Nakhon Sawan on Thursday after surrendering to the police in Phetchaburi.

Both suspects will remain in the provincial prison until questioning on September 7.

Pol Col Thitisan and his subordinates were arrested for their role in the alleged torture of a drug suspect.

Jeerapong was killed when officers covered his head with six bags during a police questioning on August 5.

A junior officer recorded the incident and shared the clip online, causing the video to quickly go viral.

All the suspects have surrendered to authorities the last two days. They have been also removed from the service.

Pol Col Thitisan turned himself in at Chon Buri police on Thursday and was then transferred to the CSD in Bangkok.

He claimed he did not want to kill Jeerapong but to extract information about drug lots from him.

However, the video clip showed the 24-year-old man being beaten and suffocated with plastic bags.