Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Eyewitness says Jomsap case hit-and-run driver was a man

Feb 09. 2017
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By Tawee Apisakkulchart,
Piyanuch Thamnukasetchai
The Nation

3,302 Viewed

AN EYEWITNESS to the accident in which former teacher Jomsap Saenmuangkhot allegedly killed an elderly man in a hit-and-run accident in 2005 stood by her testimony during four hours of questioning yesterday, insisting that the driver was a man.

Thassanee Hanpayak told the hearing at the Nakhon Phanom Provincial Court that she and her friend Thongres Wongsricha were riding a motorbike at about 7pm on March 11, 2005 when a pickup truck overtook them and crashed into bicycle rider Lua Phorbumrung. She said a 170-centimetre-tall man stepped out of the truck to look at Lua before speeding off.

She said she saw part of the truck’s licence plate as “Bor” and “56” and did not see the name of the province. She said they did not stop to help as they were in shock.

A week after the incident, she said Lua’s family asked her to testify in the case, adding that police did not ask her if the driver involved in the collision was a man or a woman, and she did not offer the information. She said she just signed the report, which police read to her due to her poor eyesight.

The plaintiff’s remaining three witnesses gave evidence yesterday morning while the prosecutor’s witnesses, four policemen and 10 civilians, were due to testify later yesterday and today.

The Justice Ministry, which has gathered evidence on behalf of Jomsap, removed Sap Wapi from the witness list on Wednesday on the grounds that his inclusion would cause confusion and lengthen the retrial because he would have to face a lie detector test and a criminal case. 

Sap has confessed to being the driver of the pickup truck with a “Bor Khor 56 Mudahan” licence plate, which was allegedly involved in the fatal collision. 

Meanwhile, outspoken lawyer Atchariya Ruangrattanapong, who is not involved in the retrial, said he still believed Jomsap, who served 18 months in jail for the case despite her claim of innocence, was guilty and he would present evidence today.



Steps in former teacher Jomsap Saenmuangkhot’s retrial:

*The Nakhon Phanom Provincial Court hosts witness hearings and views evidence from both sides from Wednesday until today.

*Jomsap’s side presents nine witnesses. Her defence focuses on her pickup, which shows no traces of accident. 

*Police present 14 witnesses, comprising four police officers and 10 civilians. Police highlight that someone hires a scapegoat to take responsibility for the accident in place of Jomsap. 

*When combined with other evidence presented in court, a total of 42 witnesses and evidentiary items are produced in court.

*Following the hearings, the Appeals Court Region 4 will submit its opinion to the Supreme Court for consideration.

*If the Supreme Court rules that Jomsap was not involved in the March 11, 2005 fatal crash, she will be compensated. Jomsap can decide if she will file a lawsuit against the Royal Thai Police.

*If the court deems the new evidence unconvincing, the court will dismiss the request for a new verdict. No punishment will be issued because she has already served a jail term for the crash.


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