Thai Prosecutors Appeal in Slain Saudi “Blue Diamond” Case
BANGKOK -Public prosecutors in Thailand have petitioned the Supreme Court to overturn a lower court’s acquittal of ex-police inspector-general Somkid Boonthanom and four other officers accused of kidnapping and killing a Saudi businessman 26 years ago.
They lodged the appeal on Tuesday after the director-general of the Department of Appellate Litigation agreed with a working panel overseeing the case that there were reasonable grounds to press for an appeal, Somnuek Siangkong, spokesman of the Office of the Attorney-General, said on Wednesday.
On May 3, the Appeal Court dismissed charges of abduction, murder and illegal detention against Pol Lt Gen Somkid, Pol Col Sorarak Jusanit, Pol Col Praphas Piyamongkol, Pol Lt Col Suradej Udomdee and Pol Sgt Maj Prasong Thongrung.
They were accused of kidnapping and murdering Saudi businessman Mohamed al-Ruwaili who went missing in Bangkok on Feb 12, 1990, and is presumed to have been killed.
The case sprang from the theft of the revered Blue Diamond and a large amount of jewellery from a Saudi palace in 1989, which Ruwaili was investigating.
The Appeal Court confirmed the ruling given on March 2014 by the Criminal Court that there was insufficient evidence to prove the five defendants had committed the crime.
Pol Lt Gen Somkid, who is the first defendant in the case, said he would exercise his legal rights by filing a counter-appeal with the court. He said he was not worried because the lower court rulings had proved several facts and cleared him.
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