Crime & Justice

Thai police keep 1st degree murder charge against Spaniard

Bangkok, Oct 3 (EFE).- Thai police maintained the accusation of premeditated murder in their final investigation report against a Spaniard accused of killing a Colombian surgeon, police sources told EFE on Tuesday.

Following a two-month probe, Koh Phangan police accuse Daniel Sancho of premeditated murder and concealing the body of Edwin Arrieta, the same charges presented against him on Aug. 7, when he entered the judicial process and was placed in provisional prison.

The Samui Prosecutor’s Office told EFE on Monday that it had received the report from the police station in neighboring Phangan, where the alleged crime occurred on Aug. 2.

Prosecutors must now prepare their own report, which they must submit to the Samui court before Oct. 29, at which point the judge can set a date for the trial.

Sancho, 29, was arrested on Aug. 5 on the island of Phangan, after confessing that day to the murder and dismemberment of the Colombian surgeon, whose remains were scattered around the island and the sea.

Thailand’s Penal Code provides for the death penalty for crimes such as premeditated murder, but if handed down, this is usually later commuted to life imprisonment.

On the other hand, the confession and cooperation of the accused can help significantly reduce the sentence, as the judge himself told Sancho on Aug. 7, when he was brought to justice.

The Spaniard confessed while he was in police custody at the Phaghan police station and collaborated with police in reconstructing the alleged crime and locating evidence.

In the case of the crime of concealment or destruction of the corpse or parts of the corpse, of which the police also accuse Sancho, the penalty would not be more than one year in prison. The final result of Arrieta’s death has not yet been revealed.

Some of Arrieta’s remains are yet to be found.

The accused has been without a lawyer in Thailand since Sep. 7, after his father, Spanish actor Rodolfo Sancho, dispensed with the services of Thai lawyer Anan Chuayprabat due to “discrepancies in the defense.”

Sancho, who since his entry into prison has regularly appeared before the judge online, would need a Thai lawyer when the trial begins and if he does not have one, the judge would assign him one. EFE


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