Saturday, November 25, 2006

Murder on Koh Samui, death sentence commuted

Two Thai fishermen convicted of raping and murdering, Katherine Horton, a 21-year-old British student on holiday in Thailand, on New Year's Day have had their death sentences commuted to life imprisonment, their lawyer said today, 25th November.

Bualoy Kothisit, 23, and Wichai Sonkhaoyai, 24, were sentenced to death after a speedy trial in January but won a reprieve this month after an appeal. The trial was strongly criticised after Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra, Prime Minister at the time, called for the harshest punishment. The mother of the victim rejected the death penalty saying that such would also be the wish of her daughter.

"The court commuted their death sentences on the ground that they had voluntarily confessed their crime,'' lawyer Prompatchara Namuang said, adding that prosecutors could challenge the court's decision and bring the case to the Supreme Court by December 7.

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