Crime & Justice

Spanish man detained in Thailand for alleged murder of Colombian surgeon

Koh Samui, Thailand, Aug 7 (EFE).- A Spanish man who admitted killing and dismembering a Colombian surgeon in Thailand last week was detained in prison on Monday on the southern island of Koh Samui.

A judge on Monday ordered Daniel Sancho, 29, to be provisionally jailed for the alleged murder of Edwin Arrieta, sources close to the case told Efe.

The suspect – the son of Rodolfo Sancho and grandson of Sancho Gracia, both well-known actors in Spain – will remain in prison until the start of his trial.

He will first be isolated for 10 days as per Covid-19 protocols, when he will only be allowed to meet with his defense counsel.

A lawyer hired by the family was due to meet with the defendant in prison on Tuesday.

A trial date has yet to be announced. Thai police have nine weeks to conclude their investigation.

The judge denied a bail request for Sancho.

Before the suspect was transferred on Monday to Koh Samui from the neighboring island of Koh Phangan, where the alleged crime took place, he had told Efe that he wanted to “to help as much” as he could.

Sancho confessed on Saturday to killing and dismembering Arrieta, police in Koh Phangan said.

Sancho had reported Arrieta missing on Thursday, and was detained for questioning a day later after police had discovered various body parts. They had also noticed scratches and cuts on the suspect when he had visited the police station, officers said.

According to the police report, the human remains discovered scattered across the island have been identified as belonging to Arrieta, a 44-year-old plastic surgeon from northern Colombia.

In remarks to Efe on Sunday, Sancho said he was “guilty” of the charges but that he had been forced to commit the crime because he was being held “hostage” by Arrieta, claiming he was being harassed and kept in “a glass cage”.

“Every time I tried to get away from him, he would threaten me,” he added.

The Thai penal code provides for the maximum capital punishment for murder offenses, although, if handed down, this is usually later commuted to life imprisonment. EFE


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