Ex-abbot may have taken sleeping pills before hanging himself

Ex-abbot Phra Brahmasutee (above)
PHOTO: The Nation

Police are probing the apparent suicide of Phra Brahmasutee blamed on stress earlier this week, after finding that the monk might have taken sleeping pills before hanging himself, a source said yesterday.

Police have ordered forensic tests.

The monk had been suspended from the post as abbot of Saket Temple over suspicions of embezzlement.

He allegedly took his own life on Monday.

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam later said several agencies' investigations had not turned up anything incriminating the monk.

Police today will attempt to re-enact the monk's death by hanging.

The "rope" used was identified as several sashes that were |tied together - not a belt as was previously reported, the source said.

An aide had given sleeping pills to Phra Brahmasutee on the advice of his doctor before the monk went to sleep, the source said.

Police will question the doctor regarding the potential effects of the pills, and if someone who had consumed them might wake up later and be able to hang himself.

A forensic examination found that the monk had been dead for four hours before his body was discovered at 7.30am.

Yesterday morning, the monk's younger brother Ekkawat turned over to police an apparent suicide note addressed to Phra Maha Krissana requesting his aides arrange a simple funeral.

Police said they would check if the deceased monk's handwriting matched that of the note.

The source said police needed to continue investigating because the note, and especially the details about the funeral, differed from another supposed suicide note that police found at the monk's residence on that day.

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