By KESINEE TANGKHIEO
The verdict had initially been postponed to June 21, but the court delayed it further after 41-year-old Nithiwadee “Mor Nim” Phucharoenyos said she wanted to attend a school meeting for her youngest son on that day.
Lawyers for two other defendants said they were also busy on that date.
Nithiwadee was sentenced to death by the primary court in December 2016 after she was found guilty of masterminding the murder.
Her lawyer Chamnan Chadit said that whatever the verdict at the Appeals Court, his client would post Bt2 million to apply for release on bail while the case was taken to the Supreme Court. Nithiwadee and family members left the court without giving any comment.
Santi Thongsem, a 31-year-old lawyer sentenced to death for helping to arrange Jakkrit’s murder, failed to turn up at court yesterday.
His lawyer said that Santi’s car had broken down in Phatthalung.
Two other defendants were in court yesterday.
Jeerasak Klinkhai, the gunman, and Tawatchai Phetchote, who trailed Jakkrit on October 19, 2013 to inform Jeerasak of the victim’s precise location, had been in a remand prison since their capture in September 2016.
Both had their death sentences commuted to life in prison by the primary court because they had provided useful information to authorities. Nithiwadee and Santi had been released on bail on condition they did not to leave Thailand.
The four defendants were also ordered by the primary court to pay Jakkrit’s family Bt2.5 million compensation plus 7.5 per cent annual interest until full payment is made.
Another defendant, Nithiwadee’s 75-year-old mother Surang Duangchinda, had earlier been acquitted by the primary court, as there was no evidence to support the claim that she had Jakkrit killed because she could not bear to see him abuse her daughter any longer.
Jakkrit’s mother Boonkid Panichpatikum, who was present in court yesterday, told reporters she had never been angry with Nithiwadee and actually was worried for her.
She said she had forgiven Nithiwadee and praised her for being a devoted mother and taking good care of her two grandchildren, whom she also missed dearly. She said Nithiwadee’s request to attend her son’s school meeting had made her cry.
Boonkid said she accepted Nithiwadee’s “wai” of respect with no hard feelings and had sympathy for her, saying her daughter-in-law was good to her during her marriage to Jakkrit.
Boonkid also said a land dispute in Prachuap Khiri Khan had been resolved by a court ruling and Jakkrit and Nithiwadee’s families would jointly manage the plot.