The Taling Chan Provincial Criminal Court yesterday sentenced three people, two soldiers, and one police officer, to death following a four-year investigation into the murder of a restaurant worker in Kanchanburi province.
The three convicted – Lt Chaiyut Benjachart aged 44, Sgt Maj 1st Class Phanumet Meela aged 35, and Pol Snr Maj Samat Saengsin aged 51 – were charged with premeditated murder and the intent to conceal a body.
The investigation also led to the conviction of four other people, two of whom were also Thai police.
According to the investigation, the seven men had conspired to abduct a 28-year-old restaurant worker known as “Ying” from the Buddha Monthon 4 area before murdering her and hiding her body in the ground in Kanchanaburi province.
One of the police involved, Pol Col Amnuay Pongsawat, had ordered those with a lower rank to kill Ying because she had allegedly been involved romantically with a singer he had been dating.
Two of the men involved in the murder plot – Niwat Suaythong aged 32 and Phumthat Piboonsawat aged 24 – had previously been handed a death sentence by the Taling Chan Provincial Court last year.
However, as both men provided full confessions and testified against others involved during court proceedings, their sentences were reduced to life imprisonment.
The two other defendants, former Ban Pong Police Superintendent, Pol Col Amnuay Pongsawat, who had ordered the murder, and Pol Snr Maj Sanong Somsit, received jail sentences for 15 and 10 years respectively.
They were both also ordered to pay 1.6 million baht plus 7.5 percent interest in compensation to the family of the victim.
While capital punishment remains in force in Thailand, there have been very few cases in recent years.
The most recent execution happened in 2018 when a 26-year-old robber was killed by lethal injection.
Prior to that there had not been a state execution carried out in nine years.
Source: Bangkok Post