Saturday, January 15, 2005

Saturday, January 15, 2005

From The Times January 15, 2005


Thais feared testifying in tourist murder trial


From Andrew Drummond in Kanchanaburi


WITNESSES in the trial of a policeman accused of murdering two British backpackers said yesterday that they had been afraid of giving evidence.


The court in Kanchanaburi, Thailand, heard how Vanessa Arscott, 24, was run down in the street and shot three times by Police Sergeant Somchai Wisetsingh who had shot dead her boyfriend, Adam Lloyd, seconds earlier.


But they stopped short of identifying Sergeant Wisetsingh ' referring instead to the policeman's confession on television. Jan Pen Tee-Ra-In, 37, a maid, told the court: 'I heard two shots and opened the windows to see a girl being pursued by a car. I heard the girl screaming and saw her rolling over to a pylon. Then I heard shots fired.


'I was scared to give evidence. But my son insisted I should, and police reassured me I would not be harmed.'


Earlier Peng Kayailee, 38, a labourer, told the court: 'When I was asked I got a fever. I was very frightened. I am doing this for my King and country.'


So far no witnesses have specifically named Sergeant Wisetsingh as the killer, but they have identified his car as the one used in the killings.


Sergeant Wisetsingh, who denies murdering Mr Lloyd, 25, from Torquay, and Ms Arscott, from Ashburton, Devon, could face death by lethal injection.


The case continues.

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