Public prosecutors have indicted six suspects over the death by drowning of actress Nida “Tangmo” Patcharaveerapong on Feb 24.
Nonthaburi provincial prosecutors announced the decision on Wednesday, after having postponed it three times.
The six are speedboat owner Tanupat “Por’’ Lerttaweewit, Phaiboon “Robert’ Trikanjananun, Wisapat “Sand’’ Manomairat, Nitas “Job’’ Kiratisoonthisathorn, Tangmo’s manager Idsarin “Gatick’’ Juthasuksawat and Peam “Em’’ Thamtheerasri.
Mr Peam was not in the speedboat when the actress fell into the Chao Phraya river and drowned, but he allegedly advised the other passengers to delay giving statements to police.
Tangmo’s mother, Panida Siriyuthayothin, filed the case against the six with Nonthaburi police.
Office of the Attorney-General deputy spokesman Prayuth Petchkhun told reporters that the prosecutors decided to indict Mr Tanupat on five charges – recklessness causing death, giving a false statement, driving a boat without a licence, dropping objects into the river, and illegally taking the anti-anxiety drug alprazolam, a category 2 listed psychotropic medication.
Mr Phaiboon was indicted on four charges – recklessness causing death, driving a boat with an expired registration, driving a boat without a licence, and dropping objects into the river.
Mr Prayuth said Mr Wisapat, who is a transgender woman, was charged with recklessness causing death.
Mr Nitas was indicted on three charges – recklessness causing death, assisting others to avoid punishment or receive less punishment, concealing evidence, and dropping objects into the river.
Ms Idsarin was charged with recklessness causing death, giving a false statement and assisting others to avoid punishment or to receive less punishment, and concealing evidence.
Mr Peam was charged with directing others to make false statements and assisting others to avoid punishment or receive less punishment, and concealing evidence.
The court later granted bail to all suspects.
Ms Idsarin and Mr Nitas were each released on 210,000 baht cash Mr Tanupat placed 160,000 baht as surety. Mr Wisapat and Mr Phaiboon were released on 120,000 baht bail each. Mr Peam was released on 90,000 baht surety.
Tangmo, 37, fell into the Chao Phraya River near Pibul 1 pier in Muang district of Nonthaburi on the night of Feb 24. Her body was found two days later.
Ms Panida earlier withdrew a murder case against the suspects.
Mr Prayuth said the police investigation report did not show any evidence to support a murder case.
Around 10am on Wednesday, police took the six suspects to Nonthaburi Provincial Court for arraignment. The suspects showed no emotion and did not give any interviews.
In April, police forwarded their investigation report into the death of the actress on Feb 24 to public prosecutors, after concluding the actress’s death was caused by the reckless actions of people in the boat with her.
They asked the prosecution to indict the six suspects on charges including reckless endangerment causing death.
Commissioner of Provincial Police Region 1, Pol Lt Gen Jirapat Phumjit, earlier said investigators were convinced by the evidence in their possession and witness statements that Tangmo died after falling into the Chao Phraya River from the back of the speedboat she was travelling in with her friends, about 10.34pm that night.
After she fell in the water she was sucked into the boat’s propellor and the blades left 26 gashes on her body — the largest of which was on the inner side of her right thigh, he said.