PM does not know whether “Ko Tee” is dead or alive

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha said Tuesday (Aug 8) that he could not confirm a report in the social media that Wutthipong Kotthammakul, alias Ko Tee, was dead in Laos.

“I have seen the image (in the social media), but no one has reported (to me).  I don’t know where the image came from,” said the prime minister when asked about the report of Ko Tee’s death.

Both Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan and Army Commander-in-Chief General Chalermchai Sitthisart said they were not aware of Ko Tee’s death.

Mr Wutthipong is a hardcore member of the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD).

The army chief said he had not seen the social media report in question and, therefore, he could not say the image shown in the report was that of Ko Tee or not.  However, he noted that the image could be faked.

“These images can be edited or taken from anywhere.  I don’t want this to become an issue because I really don’t know,” said Gen Chalermchai.

Earlier, National Security Council secretary-general Gen Thawip Netniyom made an observation about an unconfirmed report that Ko Tee was kidnapped by a group of men and disappeared.

Ko Tee, a hardcore red shirt leader, is wanted by police on lese majeste charges for remarks he made in an interview with a foreign media.  He escaped from the country and is believed to be hiding in Laos.