Published on July 26, 2007
Dr Wisut Boonkasemsanti in a pensive mood in his cell after the Supreme Court yesterday upheld the death sentence for his wife’s murder.
Showing no emotion, Dr Wisut Boonkasemsanti walked into a courtroom yesterday and heard the Supreme Court uphold the death sentence against him for the murder of his wife.
The court also found Wisut guilty of dismembering his wife's body and flushing her remains down toilets to cover up his grisly crime.
"Wisut accepts the court's ruling," the defendant's lawyer Apirom Saiklai said yesterday.
However, Apirom said that Wisut was planning to submit a petition to His Majesty the King, via Justice Minister Charnchai Likhitjittha, to ask for clemency.
"Throughout his time behind bars, Wisut has used his medical knowledge to treat his fellow inmates," Apirom said.
Wisut has 60 days to submit the petition.
Before the case came to light, Wisut was a respected gynaecologist at the prestigious Chulalongkorn University's Faculty of Medicine.
His wife Phassaporn was also a gynaecologist.
At the time of murder in February 2001, the couple had already become estranged and had conflicts over their marital assets.
Phassaporn suspected that Wisut had an affair with one of his patients, and Wisut requested a divorce.
Phassaporn's 89-year-old father, Chote Wattanachet, showed up at the courtroom yesterday to hear the verdict after his long fight for justice to be done.
When public prosecutors dropped the case against Wisut on May 9, 2001, citing a lack of evidence, Chote took matters into his own hands and lodged a complaint directly with the court.
On November 10, 2003, the Criminal Court found Wisut guilty based on circumstantial evidence.
Phassaporn's body has never been found. Police only found human flesh in septic tanks at a dormitory inside the Chulalongkorn University compound and at the Sofitel Hotel in Bangkok where Wisut stayed in February 2001.
DNA tests proved the flesh belonged to Phassaporn.
The evidence against Wisut included records of him buying powerful sleeping pills and of hiring a shop to print a fake letter from his wife asking to take leave from work.
On July 4, 2005, the Court of Appeals upheld the lower court's ruling.
Yesterday, the Supreme Court also stood by the previous verdicts against Wisut.
Upon hearing the Supreme Court's ruling, Chote said, "Thank you, everyone," as his eyes filled with tears.
His lawyer, Weerasak Chotiwanich, said Chote planned to go back home and pray for Phassaporn's soul and to tell his daughter that the Supreme Court had sentenced Wisut to death.
"Wisut has never asked for forgiveness from Chote," the lawyer said.
Asked to comment on the case, Weerasak said: "No one wants such a thing to happen. If we could turn the clock back, I am sure no one would have let such a thing take place."
Weerasak also asked for forgiveness from Wisut yesterday and explained that he had just been doing his duties as a lawyer.
"He didn't say anything but his hands made a gesture. So, I believe he has forgiven me," Weerasak said.
According to Weerasak, Wisut and Phassaporn's son had already graduated from university while their daughter was a fourth-year university student.
"They have lived in Wisut's house," Weerasak said.
The children did not show up at yesterday's court session. The son and Chote were now joint executors of the assets left by Phassaporn and Wisut.
Meanwhile, Corrections Department director-general Nathee Chitsawang said all convicts on death row had exercised their right to seek a royal pardon and Wisut also had the right to do so.
Currently, there are 858 convicts on death row, with 114 awaiting execution.