Man freed as drug rap overturned
published : 25 Jan 2023 at 04:00
newspaper section: News
writer: Post Reporters
The Criminal Court has released a man who spent two-and-a-half years in prison on drug and money laundering charges after finding him innocent.
Weerachot Suttikul was freed yesterday after having been remanded in custody after police arrested him in the middle of 2020.
He was arrested after police in Surat Thani found 200,000 methamphetamine pills and two kilogrammes of crystal meth hidden inside speakers sent from Chiang Rai's Mae Sai district to Surat Thani on May 11 of that year.
The name and ID number of the sender were those of Mr Weerachot.
In August, a state prosecutor submitted his case to court with evidence showing that a courier company employee in Mae Sai district identified Mr Weerachot as the sender from a picture of him presented by police.
The employee also said Mr Weerachot came to his office in Chiang Rai to send parcels six times.
However, during a lineup in which Mr Weerachot stood among six other people, the employee was unable to identify him.
Mr Weerachot told the court that on May 11, he, as an employee of a pest control company in Bangkok, had been assigned to work at two customers' houses in Bang Bon and Bang Khae districts with colleagues.
He also had a fingerprint scanning record at his office and his company's CCTV footage showing him at work.
His clients, manager, and colleagues also appeared in court as witnesses to back his claim.
With all the evidence, the court said it was impossible for Mr Weerachot to have been in Mae Sai district between 9am and 10am to send the parcels even if he had flown to Bangkok to work on that day.
The prosecution's case was therefore deemed unsound. The court then acquitted Mr Weerachot of the charges and ordered his immediate release.
Atchariya Ruangrattanapong, chairman of the Crime Victims Assistance Club, said he would help Mr Weerachot receive compensation from the Justice Ministry.
Mr Weerachot's mother said she was very relieved her son had finally received justice.
- drug suspect