Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand(พรทิพย์ โรจนสุนันท์)

Khunying Pornthip Rojanasunand M.D. (Thai: พรทิพย์ โรจนสุนันท์, sometimes transliterated as Porntip Rojanasunan, RTGS: Phonthip Rotchanasunan; born: 21 December 1955) is a Thai forensic pathologist, author and human rights activist. Thai people called her Dr Death.

Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand

Director of the Forensic Science Institute, Ministry of Justice and human rights activist
Name in Thai: พรทิพย์ โรจนสุนันท์
Date of Birth: 1955-12-21
Place of Birth: Bangkok

1979 Mediical Doctor, Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University
1998 Forensic Anthropology, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology Washington, DC, USA
1999 Forensic Pathology จาก Armed Forces Institute of Pathology Washington, DC

1980 Resiident doctor at Phra Buddhachinaraj Hospital, Pitsanulok
1990 Lecturer on Pathology at Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University
2003 Deputy Director of the Forensic Science Institute, Ministry of Justice
2008 Director of the Forensic Science Institute, Ministry of Justice

2003 Conferred with royal decoration Chulchomklao (fourth degree) and the title "Khunying"

Marital Status:
Married to Viroj Rojanasunand with one daughter, Yaravee Rojanasunand

Pornthip presently is Director of the Central Institute of Forensic Science, Ministry of Justice, in Bangkok and introduced DNA evidence to Thailand. Before her public criticism, autopsies of victims of alleged police abuse were carried out in the police's own forensic institute; this has since changed.

During the anti-drug campaign by the government of Thaksin Shinawatra in early 2003, more than 1,000 people vanished or were killed; Pornthip has shown that several of these deaths were caused by police.

She has written several books about her work. The most prominent pathologist in Thailand, she gets regular media coverage with her allegations of abuse, and by her own admission, her unorthodox appearance: punk-rock hair dyed purplish red, eccentric clothing and glittery eye makeup, and platform shoes.

She is the author of Investigation of Corpses, which sold 100,000 copies in Thailand, and also led a group of international forensic scientists in 2004 to identify the remains of the Asian tsunami victims.

The Thai English-language newspaper The Nation chose Pornthip, along with Chuwit Kamolvisit and Chote Wattanachet, as persons of the year for 2003. She was honored by King Bhumibol Adulyadej with the title "Khunying".

In the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, Pornthip took charge of the effort to identify victims of the tsunami in the Phang Nga region. She and her team were widely praised for their hard work and dedication, but on January 13, 2005 Police General Nopadol Somboonsab complained that the police's identification centre in Phuket should have charge of all identification operations. Many commentators and Pornthip herself attributed the late intervention to Nopadol's personal vendetta against her. Nopadol was ultimately successful, and the Phang Nga operation was closed down on February 3, 2005.

The 2005 National Geographic documentary Crime Scene Bangkok (2004) tells her life story and covers her work in Phang Nga after the tsunami and her battle with the police.

In June 2009, she was one of the pathologists investigating the death of actor David Carradine.

In October 2009, she provided her professional testimony that Malaysian Democratic Action Party employee Teoh Beng Hock, who had been detained by the Malaysian federal Government's Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission(MACC) had an 80% probability of murdered.

(source: extract from wikipedia)

The report by The Star on 22-10-2009, extracted as follow:

SHAH ALAM: Renowned Thai forensic patho­logist Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand told the inquest into the death of political aide Teoh Beng Hock that it was an 80% probability his death was a homicide.

She said it was only a 20% probability that Teoh had committed suicide.

Dr Pornthip also testified that the marks on Teoh’s neck looked like he had been manually strangled.

Teoh, the political secretary to Selangor executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah, had been summoned to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) office at the 14th floor of Plaza Masalam to be questioned over the irregular disbursement of state funds on July 15.

He was found dead on the fifth floor service corridor of the building the following day.

(extract from The Star online)

Can Thailand's Dr Death bring justice to Teoh family in Malaysia? Let us wait and see......


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