Crime & Justice

Murder trial of Spanish actor’s son delayed in Thailand

Koh Samui, Thailand, Nov 27 (EFE).- The son of the renowned Spanish actor Rodolfo Sancho, facing murder charges in Thailand, was given additional time on Monday to prepare his defense in the case involving the killing and dismemberment of a Colombian surgeon.

The court hearing the case of Edwin Arrieta’s murder scheduled the next hearing for Dec. 12, during which both the defense and prosecution are expected to present their lists of witnesses and evidence.

During the three-hour closed-door hearing at the provincial court of Samui, Sancho’s defense did not present the planned list of evidence.

The judge granted a final extension until Dec. 12 to commence the trial. The extension allows for the examination of evidence, a crucial step for the judge to design the trial calendar, possibly beginning in the first months of next year.

Sancho, 29, faces charges in the murder and dismemberment case of the Colombian surgeon on the island of Koh Phangan in August. The two had known each other since the previous year.

Sancho met the 44-year-old Colombian on Aug. 2, the day of the alleged murder.

Several sources close to the case told EFE that the judge extended the deadline for evidence presentation and the list of witnesses due to the abundance of documents and the recent assignment of a new defense lawyer.

Sancho arrived at the court in a van from the nearby island prison, where he has been provisionally held since Aug. 7. He appeared before the judge accompanied by his newly appointed lawyer, Aprichat Srinuel.

The court assigned the new lawyer after Sancho rejected the services of his previous court-appointed advocate, citing dissatisfaction with his behavior and actions.

In a statement, the court mentioned that the examination of evidence and witnesses was postponed to give the accused a full opportunity to defend himself.

The judge reiterated three charges against Sancho: premeditated murder, destruction of evidence, and damaging and making parts of the victim’s body disappear.

Sancho maintained his not guilty plea, asserting that Arrieta’s death resulted from a fight initiated by the victim, according to a source familiar with the case.

The parents of the accused, actor Rodolfo Sancho and investment analyst Silvia Bronchalo, attended the hearing along with representatives of the Spanish embassy in Thailand.

Sancho was arrested on Aug 5 after confessing to the crime before the Thai police. He faces death penalty for premeditated murder. EFE

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