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Court acquits driver of vehicle that saw girl die when she jumped out

Jul 05. 2019
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By Samrit Jiamcharoenpornkul
The Nation

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Trailer-truck driver Surapon “Aof” Darakham, 23, and his close female friend were acquitted on Friday morning by the Ayutthaya Court in the July 19, 2018 death of 19-year-old girl Nareekan Yawiraj, who jumped from his moving vehicle.

Nareekan sustained fatal injuries after she jumped out of the moving truck in Ayutthaya’s Bang Pa-in district while Surapon was giving her a ride home following a night out, but the girl’s relatives suspected she had been murdered and filed a complaint leading to the lawsuit against Surapol and his female friend Sirinart “Ped” Rob-ram.

The primary court on Friday acquitted Surapon of the charges of illegal detention and murder on the grounds that there were no eyewitnesses to prove that Nareekan was fatally assaulted by Surapon and that Surapon couldn't have illegally detained the girl as she could still use her cell phone to contact others. The court also acquitted Sirinart of the charge of abetting Nareekan’s illegal detention after an eyewitness said the girl could have left the trailer-truck and called for help when Surapon pulled over to fill his tank at a gas station.

The court ordered Surapon’s continued detention as the case would be forwarded to the Appeals Court.

Surapon’s father Somkuan Darakham and family members were overjoyed at the verdict, saying it proved Surapon was innocent. However, the deceased girl's father Subin Yawiraj said he still had doubts about the witnesses’ testimonies but he accepted the ruling and would let the public prosecutor decide whether to appeal the ruling in a higher court.

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