Sithiporn and Ekasit Yoosuk, a former Loei provincial official, were sentenced to death while Prasong Saengchan and Sergeant Nikom Jitrakul were sentenced to life in prison for conspiring to murder Pattama Fuangprayoon, the wife of former Chantaburi provincial official Sanit Fuangprayoon, and Komkai’s mother.
The four also have been convicted of attempted murder, premeditated murder, masterminding a murder, violation of the Guns and Ammunition Act 1947 and possessing explosives and guns without permission.
The court testimony revealed that Pattama was killed in a car explosion after driving the vehicle with a bomb planted underneath, which hit against a cement floor.
Sergeant Songrit Thewanurak, who died later, was one of the suspects. Songrit confessed that he, Ekasit, Nikom and Prasong planned to kill Sanit by planting a bomb under his car while he was having a massage in a parlour in Rayong. But the bomb did not explode after they pushed the remote control. It went off when Pattama drove it the next day.
In November 2006, the Criminal Court sentenced Ekasit and Sithiporn to death, but commuted the death term to life in jail for Prasong and Nikom as they had confessed to the crime.
The Court of Appeal upheld the lower court ruling in May 2009. The Supreme Court upheld the Court of Appeal ruling on the ground that prosecutors had solid evidence to counter the suspects’ testimonies. Sithiporn and Ekasit denied knowing Prasong but phone records showed they were in contact. Workers at the massage parlour also testified that they had seen them the night before the car explosion. Sithiporn testified that he chaired a funeral during the incident but he did not have a single photo to back his claim.
Sithiporn also testified that he had no conflicts with Komkai but was a target of political harassment because he worked in the same constituency as then deputy interior minister Chalerm Yoobamrung. The court read that Chalerm was not found to be involved in the case during the investigation.
Sithiporn and Ekasit were stunned upon hearing the verdict, read to them at Bang Kwang Prison, where they are being held. They were told they have the right to seek a Royal pardon.