Lawyer denies involvement in Jakkrit murder

A lawyer who is one of the suspects in the murder of former national sports shooter Jakkrit "X" Panichpatikum surrendered to police on Tuesday, but is pleading his innocence.

Santi Thongsem, the lawyer wanted in connection with the murder of former national sports shooter Jakkrit has surrendered to police, but insists he is innocent. (Photo by Pornprom Sarttarbhaya)

Santi Thongsem, 28, told police that he knew Voraphanpuree Montree-areekul - another suspect who has accused him of assembling a team of gunmen to kill Jakkrit - because she was one of his clients.

Mr Santi said he had also spent time with Jirasak Klinkhlai, the gunmen alleged to have killed Jakkrit, in a social context on one occasion. 

But he denied taking part in the murder, saying he had neither met the victim nor his mother-in-law, Surang Duangchinda. 

Police apprehended Mrs Voraphanpuree on Sunday. Mr Jirasak was arrested last Friday.

Mrs Surang on Monday admitted that she hired people to kill her son-in-law because he "repeatedly assaulted" her daughter Nitiwadee Pucharoenyo.

Previously, Mrs Voraphanpuree told police that she introduced Mrs Surang to Mr Santi. Mrs Surang then allegedly agreed to pay 1.2 million baht to Mr Santi and the hit team. 

Mr Jirasak also told police that he had been hired to kill Jakkrit by Mr Santi.

Jakkrit was gunned down by a motorcycle pillion rider while he was driving his black Porsche Boxster near Ramkhamhaeng Soi 166 in Min Buri district on the night of Oct 19.

Metropolitan Police Bureau chief Kamronwit Thoopkrachang said investigators have sufficient evidence and witnesses to go against the lawyer’s testimony. Pol Maj Gen Kamronwit said police had recommended the court deny the man bail due to his behaviour, fearing that he might threaten witnesses.

Pol Maj Gen Chayut Thanathaweerat, deputy chief of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, said Mr Santi will be taken into custody at Min Buri police station in Bangkok for further interrogation.

Related search: Jakkrit "X" Panichpatikum, national sports shooter, murder, Santi Thongsem

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