THE CRIMINAL Court has scheduled February 12 for the arraignment of suspects involved in the alleged plot to exonerate hit-and-run convict Jomsap Saenmuangkhot with fake evidence and witnesses.
Public prosecutors based in Nakhon Phanom province have already decided to prosecute at least 10 civilian suspects in the case. Police are now waiting to hear whether the Regional Office 4 of public prosecutors will agree to arraign lawyer Tanat Suktolodpee as the 11th defendant, as the police investigation suggested he might have played a role in the alleged preparation of fake witnesses and evidence.
In 2013, the Supreme Court convicted then teacher Jomsap of hitting and killing an elderly cyclist with her pickup and fleeing the scene.
Although she was later released early on a royal pardon, Jomsap tried to overturn the conviction while publicly insisting on her innocence. Her claim gained credibility after a man named Sap Wapi claimed that he, and not Jomsap, was responsible for the fatal accident.
The Justice Ministry then actively helped her fight her case.
However, Sap later admitted that he lied, claiming responsibility for the fatal accident in the hope of getting paid by a friend of Jomsap. Last November, the Supreme Court rejected Jomsap’s request for a retrial and police began investigating the alleged perjury.
Provincial Police Region 4 deputy commander Pol Maj-General Tanasak Rittidejpaiboon said yesterday that in addition to the civilian suspects, police had also asked the National Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate seven officials of the Department of Special Investigation on suspicion that they might have helped the suspects provide fake evidence.