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Witnesses set for Jakkrit murder trial

Prosecution witnesses will testify next month in a court trial over the much-publicised fatal shooting of former Olympic shooter Jakkrit Panichpatikum.

The first hearing of prosecution witnesses will take place at Min Buri Court on September 9.

Police have apprehended five suspects in the case. The last suspect, Tawatchai Phetchote, was nabbed in the southern province of Songkhla on Sunday after being on the run for more than seven months.

Tawatchai and self-confessed gunman Jeerasak Klinklai allegedly rented a room in Jakkrit's neighbourhood for more than 20 days to monitor the victim's movement before the shooting finally took place on October 19 last year.

Tawatchai was allegedly the motorcyclist who helped the gunman catch up with Jakkrit.

The former Olympic medallist was attacked while on his way to meet his wife and their children.

Police have identified Jakkrit's wife Dr Nithiwadee Phucharoenyos and her mother Surang Duangjinda as alleged masterminds.

Surang has pleaded guilty but denied that her daughter was involved.

The mother-in-law said Jakkrit had repeatedly used violence against his wife and children.

Santi Thongsem, a lawyer, allegedly helped Surang find the gunman.

Santi, Nithiwadee and Surang are now free on Bt500,000 bail each.

Jeerasak has been in jail pending court trials.

Yesterday, the court approved 12 days of detention for Tawatchai, who re-enacted his part of the crime at several spots in Bangkok earlier in the day.

Born on January 31, 1973, to former national shooter Manop, Jakkrit made his debut in shooting at 15, and three years later was selected for the national team. He came to prominence by winning several gold medals at the SEA Games, and his fame rose when he grabbed a silver medal at the 2001 ISSF World Cup in Seoul, held by the International Shooting Sport Federation.

Two more silvers at the World Cup in Zagreb in 2006 and three World Cup bronzes, including in the 2004 edition in Bangkok, were among his career highlights.

The pistol specialist took part in four Olympic Games from 1996 to 2012. His best result was seventh place in the air-pistol event in Beijing in 2008.

At the London Olympics last year, he finished 37th in the qualifying round of the 10-metre air pistol, 14th in the 50m pistol and 15th in the 25m rapid-fire pistol events. Apart from sports, he appeared in films, including the blockbuster "Maak The" ("Lucky Loser").


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