PHRAE – A Provincial Court in Northern Thailand has sentenced three Thai men to death for murdering a British expatriate and his Thai wife, whose brother ordered the killings and struck the blows that killed his sister.
A fourth defendant had his sentence of life imprisonment reduced to 25 years for cooperating with the investigation.
The court issued the rulings on Friday in the case of 64-year-old retired petroleum engineer Alan Hogg and his 61-year-old wife, Nod Suddaen. Their bodies were found buried on their property in Muang district of the northern province last September.
The court sentenced Warut Rattanasatchakit, 63, Pia Khamsai, 63, and Kittipong Khamwan, 24 to death for the premeditated murder of the couple.
Police had accused Warut of plotting the murders in order to take control of Hogg’s assets and sell some of them.
According to court documents, Warut initially asked his neighbor, Seema Udpamoon, 60, to assist him in the murders but Seema refused after learning that Warut sought to kill his own sister.
However, Suma was still paid for recommending the two men to do the job and was charged with assisting premeditated murder.
According to the court documents, the murder was planned at the house of Warut, who is the elder brother of Hogg’s wife. After entering the house of the victims on Sept 19 last year, Pia fired two shots at the Briton and Warut struck his sister on the head with a spanner until she died.
The three then buried the couple near the duck pen in the compound.
While Seema received a life sentence for abetting the crime, it was reduced to 25 years for his cooperation during the investigation.
Mr Warut said after he was arrested by police that the motive was a severe conflict with Hogg.
The men were also ordered to pay a daughter of the couple 644,255 baht in compensation.
Pawina Chuayen, a lawyer for the family of the victims, said their foreign relatives were satisfied with the court’s ruling but were also deeply affected by the events and not ready to speak about the case.
Niphon Khamsai, a son of Pia, said he would consult lawyers about possibly appealing the case to a higher court.
By The Associated Press
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