Charges against police in Saudi murder trial dismissed
March 31, 2014 00:00
The Criminal Court on Monday dismissed charges in the high-profile trial of five police officers accused of snatching and murdering a Saudi businessman with close links to the Saudi palace 24 years ago.
The Court said the charges were dismissed because the public prosecutors’ evidences was weak and failed to convince the court that the officers had been involved in the murder and kidnapping.
His death, along with the theft of invaluable jewels by a Thai janitor from a Saudi palace and the killings of three Saudi diplomats in Bangkok between 1989 and 1990, has severely strained the Thai-Saudi relations. The businessman is thought to have been abducted and killed while police were searching of the jewellery.
The body of Mohammad AlRuwaili, has yet to be found and a Thai court earlier declared him as missing person.
The five officers charged with the kidnapping and murder are Lt Gen Somkid Boonthanom, a former police inspector general; Pol Col Sorarak Jusanit, superintendent of Sop Moei police in Mae Hong Son; Pol Col Praphas Piyamongkol, superintendent of Nam Khun police in Ubon Ratchathani; and two decommissioned officers Pol Lt Col Suradej Udomdee and Pol Sgt Maj Prasong Thongrung.
The charges are be punishable by death thus the Court had to
consider the evidence with extreme care and deliver a flawless and confident verdict.
The Court ruled that the case should be dismissed ecause the evidence presented by the prosecutors was either inadequate, circumstantial, suspicious and appeared to be based on false evidence.
Riyadh has downgraded diplomatic relations with Thailand to only charge d'affaires shortly after those incidents until present.