BANGKOK • A policeman who was under investigation as part of a high-profile royal insult probe has died in custody after he hanged himself in his cell, Thailand's justice minister said yesterday.
Police Major Prakrom Warunprapa had been jailed by a court on Wednesday along with two other people as part of a probe into a group of people who allegedly falsely claimed ties to the monarchy for personal benefit.
The other two people charged are Suriyan Sujaritpalawong, a well-known fortune teller, and his assistant, Jirawong Wattanathewasilp.
Prakrom hanged himself in his cell last Friday and was pronounced dead after being taken to hospital, said Justice Minister Paiboon Koomchaya.
"It would appear that the suspect hung himself. The jailed person was found dead in his cell and (the) authorities tried to revive him," Mr Paiboon told Reuters. "Right now we are doing the autopsy. Whatever the result, we will have to accept it because this is a high-profile case of huge public interest."
Thailand has the world's harshest lese-majeste law, which makes it a crime to defame, insult or threaten the king, queen, and heir to the throne or regent.