Songkhla provincial chief arrested in killing of mayor
Songkhla Provincial Administrative Organisation president Uthit Chuchuay has been arrested and charged with conspiring in and masterminding last November's fatal shooting of Songkhla municipality mayor Peera Tantiserani, police said yesterday.Songkhla civic sector members and academics believe the assassination stems from a political conflict over Peera's opposition to a cable-car system over Songkhla Lake, which he believed would wipe out the city's last piece of pine forest, the only lung of the city.
Uthit was arrested on Tuesday. He is among 10 suspects for whom warrants have been issued - three suspected masterminds and seven suspected conspirators.
Five suspects are still at large, including Tambon Ta Bon Administrative Organisation president Pramote Saeng-arun. The other suspects are Chayan Nupan, Athip Duangmak, Nattapol Nakle and Sud-keed Chankiew.
Four other men have been arrested: suspected gunmen Paisal Nupan, Niwat Ratkaew and Chuan Muadmee, who are being held, and suspected mastermind Kitti Chuchuay, who has been released on bail.
Police said they would object to bail for Uthit when they request the Songkhla Provincial Court to further detain him.