TWO MEN linked to efforts to clear the name of Jomsap Saenmuangkhot, a former teacher convicted in a high-profile fatal hit-and-run case, are now facing legal action for alleged perjury.
Jomsap’s close friend Suriya Nuancharoen, and Sap Wapi who claimed he was responsible for the fatal accident, face new complaints related to their statements.
“Complaints against them have already been filed with three police stations to begin the process for investigations,” Nakhon Phanom police chief Pol Maj-General Suwicharn Yarnkittikul said yesterday.
Last Friday, the Supreme Court threw out Jomsap’s request to seek a fresh trial into the 2005 fatal road accident in which she was convicted and jailed.
Office of the Attorney-General deputy spokesman Prayut Bejraguna said documents showed the Supreme Court had rejected the request because payments were allegedly made to have someone claim responsibility for the death in place of Jomsap.
“When you give false information to the court, your action constitutes perjury. Such a crime is punishable by a jail term of up to five years. The penalty applies to both the hirer and the paid accomplices,” he said.
Prayut refused to speculate on the outcome of the case.
“At this point, it is the duty of the investigators to take action,” he said.
On February 26, 2013, the Supreme Court found Jomsap guilty of a hit-and-run accident that killed Lua Phorbamrung in 2005.
Suriya contacted Renu Nakhon Police Station on December 25, 2013, claiming that Sert Roopsa-ard was the driver of the pickup that hit Lua, according to Suwicharn. But then on May 19, 2014, Suriya brought Sap Wapi to Na Don Police Station with the latter testifying that he was the culprit. The fact that two men came forward to claim responsibility for the accident raised doubts.
Although Sap claimed he had driven a pickup with the “Bor Khor 56 Mukdahan” licence plate on the day of the accident, ownership documents showed the vehicle had been in the possession of another individual, Ubon Chaiban, since 2004.
Ubon said no one had used the old vehicle in 2005.
Jomsap drove a pickup with the “Bor Khor 56 Sakon Nakhon” licence plate.
Witnesses saw a “Bor Khor 56” licence plate on the vehicle that hit Lua but were unable to identify other details about the vehicle, according to police who investigated the case on the day the accident happened.
But more recently, two witnesses, Tassanee Harnpayak and Thongres Wongsricha, told authorities that they had seen a man driving the vehicle – something they did not tell police on the first day of the investigation.
Suwicharn said yesterday that Suriya was now the prime suspect in efforts to whitewash the case.
“We will investigate further who else was involved. Whether Jomsap too will face perjury charges will depend on the evidence,” he said.
Jomsap has already served a jail term for the fatal hit-and-run accident, but after 18 months behind bars she received a royal pardon.
She has spent the past two years trying to prove that she was not involved in the accident and to get her teaching post back. Suriya is also a teacher.
When Jomsap requested a fresh trial into the accident, she tried to present Sap’s testimony as fresh evidence.
Police and public prosecutors had objected to her request for a retrial.