Court turns down Supat bail request

Murder suspect Supat Laohawattana, who is accused of killing up to four people, was denied bail by Phetchaburi Provincial Court yesterday.

Tha Mai Ruak police officers yesterday bring murder suspect Pol Col Supat Laohawattana to Phetchaburi Provincial Court to remand him in custody. TAWATCHAI KEMGUMNERD

According to the court's reading, Pol Col Supat was not granted bail as he is a senior police officer who could flee and threaten witnesses.

Pol Col Supat is accused of murdering couple Samart Noomjui and Orasa Kerdsap, who had been missing since 2009.

One of Pol Col Supat's former employees has also accused him of killing two Myanmar workers at his 40-rai pineapple orchard in Phetchaburi's Tha Yang district.

Three skeletons dug up by police at Pol Col Supat's orchard are being examined at Central Institute of Forensic Science Thailand.

Two of the skeletons were identified as males, said Pol Lt Gen Jaramporn Suramanee, assistant commissioner general of Thai Royal Police, adding that the gender of the third skeleton would be confirmed within the next couple of days. He said two of the skeletons showed signs of having been shot, and added that DNA tests are being conducted to help identify them.

However, Pol Col Supat's solicitor Polthep Suwanwichian said his client, a Police General Hospital doctor, had been framed. He said Pol Col Supat and his brother had been in a legal dispute over who would look after their 89-year-old mother, Thanim Laohawattana.

Mr Polthep said Mrs Thanim has assets worth about 5 billion baht.

She has been seriously ill and bed-ridden for about 10 years, he said.

Pol Col Supat said briefly before he was sent to Phetchaburi Central Prison that he had denied the murder charges laid against him.

He also denied an allegation by a family member that he had drugged his mother into an incapacitated state, so he could take over the management of her assets.

No one wants their mother to suffer with any illness, he said.

Pol Lt Gen Jongjate Aojanepong, director of the police hospital, said Pol Col Supat has been admired for his contribution as a doctor over 25 years.

He admitted Pol Col Supat had once come to talk to him about the conflicts with his brother over the management of their mother's assets and their inheritance.

According to a police source, the suspect's wife, Wilasa Janbanchorn, has contacted police to turn herself in. She is accused of cooperating with Pol Col Supat's alleged crimes. No date or time was given for her surrender.

Tha Mai Ruak police yesterday handed in to Provincial Police Region 7, more than 40 handguns and rifles seized at the suspect's house.

The weapons will be forensically analysed to determine whether any of them had been used in the murders.

The weapons investigation is expected to be finalised within a week, police said.

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