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Thai MP likely target of killing, say police

Publication Date : 22-08-2012

 

A personal or political conflict was thought to be behind the fatal shooting of the son of a Thai MP on Monday night. But the victim could have been mistaken for his father, according to police and the politician's colleagues.

"It's likely that the perpetrators wanted to kill MP Chada Thaiseth. They hit the wrong target after he changed cars," Pol Maj General Ong-art Piewruangnont, Nakhon Ratchasima police chief, said yesterday.

Chada, an Uthai Thani MP from the coalition Chart Thai Pattana Party, was on a vacation in Nakhon Ratchasima with his family.

They were heading back in two vehicles to a Khao Yai resort where they were staying and had just made a stop at a convenience store shortly before midnight, according to Ong-art.

An unknown number of men in a pickup truck fired on the sport utility vehicle driven by Farut, 27, killing him instantly.

Farut was following in the SUV after Chada took another vehicle with a local friend when he was overtaken by the pickup on a narrow lane. After the attack, the SUV rammed into a power pole.

Ong-art said the initial theory was that the murder was caused by a personal or political dispute.

Farut had been introduced earlier by Chada, 51, as his "political heir" in the next general election.

Chada is now under protection in a "safe house" with a team of bodyguards and police. He asked for police to wait until after Farut's Muslim funeral before questioning him about his son's death.

The two-time MP and former Uthai Thani mayor has been acquitted in two murder cases in which he was accused of being the mastermind.

Chart Thai Pattana sources said Chada had made many political and business enemies in his province, which could have led to Monday night's attack.

Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung said he believed the operation was well planned, dismissing a theory that Farut was a victim of road rage.

Pol General Adul Sangsingkaew, who is in line to become the next national police chief, yesterday ordered Nakhon Ratchasima and Uthai Thani police to try to find the reason for the attack. One possibility was road rage, he was quoted as saying by a senior police officer.

 

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