Thai security officials have found new evidence leading them to turn their focus back to detained suspect Adem Karadag, as the possible Bangkok shrine bomber, the media reported on Thursday.
Prawut told reporters at the shrine on Saturday that the first arrested suspect, who has been referred to as both Bilal Mohammed and Adem Karadag – the name on a Turkish passport he holds – was responsible for the bombing.
Arrest warrants are yet to be issued by court for 10 more bombing suspects in addition to 16 others for whom such warrants had been issued, the police said.
“It is confirmed that Adem is the man in the yellow shirt based on CCTV footage, eyewitness accounts and his own confession”, Prawut said.
Police also appeared to rule out that a second man in their custody – identified as Yusufu Mieraili – was a main suspect in the attack. At the press conference, Prawut seemed to suggest that the man in the yellow shirt was Karadag.
Authorities had earlier said it was unlikely that either of the two men detained were the bomber.
They allegedly have CCTV footage of them, as well as witness statements and DNA evidence linking them to the scene.
Thailand’s police Tuesday linked last month’s deadly bombing that killed 20 at a Bangkok shrine to the Uighurs, an ethnic minority from northwestern China.
Police maintain that the bombing was not an act of “terrorism” but a revenge attack by criminal elements upset at Thailand’s crackdown on human trafficking.
Mr Karadag went to the Ratchaprasong intersection to place a bomb-filled rucksack at the Erawan [shrine] on August 17. “I do not believe Adem would confess”, he said.
CCTV footage released by the Police showing the two suspects at the jewellry fair. The images showed the suspect walking into a restroom and changing his clothes before he walked out. At least four of the suspects still at large have been tentatively identified as Turkish. He said the pair had also offered confessions. Police Lt. Gen. Prawut Thavornsiri said that as the investigation progressed, police uncovered evidence that Mr. Karadag played a more substantial role in the attack.
Responding to the impending charges, Muhammed’s lawyer told Anadolu Agency the allegations “did not add up”, noting his client had been interrogated through the night earlier this week, just a day after being hospitalized.
Nonetheless, Chuchart Kanpai, the Thai lawyer handling the case on behalf of Karadag, argued that his client might possibly have given untruthful testimony for yet unknown reasons.