Warrant sought for 10th Bangkok blast suspect

Warrant sought for 10th Bangkok blast suspect
Foreign suspect identified by the ruling junta as Adem Karadak is escorted by Thai commando units upon his arrival at the Court in Bangkok Saturday.
PHOTO: AFP

Police are set to seek a warrant for the arrest of a tenth suspect in connection with last month's Erawan Shrine bombing, a source close to the investigation said yesterday.

Police investigators are likely to seek court permission to issue the warrant tomorrow, the source said.

The 10th suspect had stayed with a foreign man identified as Adem Karadag, who was the first suspect arrested in connection with the August 17 attack. Karadag was taken to Min Buri Prison yesterday.

The tenth suspect stayed at the same apartment as Karadag, who was nabbed on Saturday last week at a building in Bangkok's Nong Chok district.

"The earliest police can seek an arrest warrant for the tenth suspect is on Monday," the source said, adding that the police have a sketch of the man.

Royal Thai Police spokesman Lt-General Prawut Thavornsiri said yesterday that police had yet to identify the man's nationality or name. But they believed he was also involved with the bombing.

So far in the investigation, nine arrest warrants have been issued.

The Min Buri Provincial Court yesterday approved a police request for the detention of Karadag, who held a fake Turkish passport. He had been held and interrogated at a military base in Bangkok for the last week.

The suspect was brought to the court and sent to the prison under tight security by police and military personnel.

Karadag will be detained at Min Buri Prison for 12 days before the court has to decide again whether the detention period has to be extended.

Corrections Department director general Wittaya Suriyawong yesterday said Min Buri Prison director had told him the facility is crowded and has no solitary room for Karadag. Wittaya said he told the prison chief to take special care of the suspect while he is there.

He said that, if necessary, Karadag might be moved to Bang Kwang Prison or another maximum-security facility. In addition to Karadag, a second suspect identified by authorities as Chinese citizen Yusufu Mieraili was arrested on Tuesday near the Thai-Cambodian border.

DNA samples taken from this suspect - thought to have been the person who planted the bomb - did not match those found in a taxi, on a banknote and a backpack presumed to have carried the bomb. However, he was believed to be involved in the attack, police spokesman Prawut said.

His fingerprints matched those found on bomb-making materials in an apartment raided last weekend.

The results of fingerprints and DNA samples show that the prime suspect, who is seen in surveillance camera footage putting down a backpack and leaving the shrine few minutes before the explosion, is still at large.

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