By SITTHICHAI SIKHAWAT
The court of primary instance ordered that murder mastermind Surifath “Bang Fath” Bannopwongsakul and five other accomplices pay between Bt420,000 and Bt2.4 million as compensation to each of the eight plaintiffs.
The compensation comes in addition to the life-in-prison sentence the six convicts were given earlier.
Two other defendants in the same case received jail sentences of 21 months and 12 months respectively for “minor” roles in the crime.
“I have spoken to Surifath and he has voiced willingness to pay the compensation,” lawyer Kriangsak Saraphi said yesterday. “But further discussions are required to determine when the payments will be made.”
The defendants are expected to pay a 7.5 per cent interest rate until all the payments are made.
Kriangsak was speaking after the Appeals Court yesterday rejected an appeal filed by the victims’ relatives on grounds that they had not been co-plaintiffs in the case from the very beginning. The Appeals Court only agreed to compensation that the lower court had determined and ordered that the six defendants honour it.
For instance, Jaree Boonteub, the father of slain Khao Ngam village headman Worayuth Sunglung, is entitled to Bt1.44 million in compensation.
The country was shocked last year by news that Worayuth and 10 members of his family were gunned down execution-style inside their home.
Three victims survived the attack.
The shooting reportedly occurred after a standoff that lasted several hours. The murders reportedly stemmed from a dispute over land deeds used as collateral for a loan. Surifath allegedly refused to return the documents to 46-year-old Worayuth even though the debt was cleared. This dispute caused both sides to threaten each other before the showdown ended in a massacre.
The suspects were quickly tracked down and found guilty by the court of primary instance in March.