Two Thai nationals accused of stabbing a man in Brunswick after he intervened in a scuffle are expected to next week launch a last-ditch effort to fight extradition from Bangkok to Australia.
Sarud Seehaverachart, 28, and Thatiya Terdputham, 25, have denied murdering Luke Mitchell, a Sanctuary Lakes chef, in May 2009. A third man, believed to be the son of an influential military official, is still on the run after also fleeing to Thailand shortly after the murder.
While police in Thailand are still searching for him, homicide detectives in Victoria believe the two main figures in the stabbing are in custody.
The two, in a Thai jail, claim they were acting in self-defence, that they had been racially abused and that Mr Mitchell was drunk at the time of the confrontation.
Victorian authorities successfully applied, through the Thai courts, for their extradition.
However, the two men had until yesterday to lodge an appeal against the decision.
Detectives in Victoria expect to learn on Tuesday whether the two had been granted permission to fight the extradition order. If there is no appeal, Victoria Police will send four detectives to Thailand to bring the alleged killers back to Australia.
Members of their family have said they would appeal, while the men say they want their trial held in Thailand as they do not trust the Australian justice system.
A spokeswoman for the Attorney-General’s Department said: ”It is open to Seehaverachart and Terdputham to lodge an appeal against the court’s determination and as such, it would be inappropriate to comment further.”