Trial opens in Thailand for Spanish actors’ son accused over surgeon’s killing

9 April 2024, 17:34

Thailand Spain Tourist Killing
Thailand Spain Tourist Killing. Picture: PA

Daniel Sancho Bronchalo, 29, was charged by prosecutors in October over the death of Edwin Arrieta Arteaga.

The trial of the son of Spanish actors, who is accused of killing and dismembering a Colombian surgeon on a popular tourist island, began in Thailand on Tuesday.

Daniel Sancho Bronchalo, 29, was charged by prosecutors in October over the death of Edwin Arrieta Arteaga, whose remains were found stuffed in plastic bags at a landfill on Koh Pha Ngan, an island famous for its rave-style “full moon parties”.

Lawyer Juan Gonzalo Ospina Serrano, who represents Mr Arrieta’s family, told reporters at the Koh Samui Provincial Court before the trial that the family trusts Thai prosecutors to deliver justice.

“They are grateful and hope that Thai law is forceful and that the truth can be told,” he said.

The charges against Sancho include premeditated murder, concealment of a body and destruction of other people’s documents, which is related to the alleged damaging of the Arrieta’s passport.

Thailand Spain Tourist Killing
Spanish actor Rodolfo Sancho, father of Daniel Sancho Bronchalo, arrives at Koh Samui provincial court in southern Thailand on Tuesday (Suthipong Charoenjai/AP)

Sancho pleaded not guilty to premeditated murder and destruction of documents but pleaded guilty to hiding the victim’s body.

The charge of premeditated murder carries a possible death penalty. The maximum sentence for damaging other people’s documents carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a 100,000 baht (£2,166) fine. The concealment or damaging of a body carries a year in prison and a 20,000 baht (£430) fine.

The trial is opening with statements from witnesses brought in by the plaintiff, said Apichart Srinual, a Thai lawyer who represents Sancho.

When asked whether he is confident about his defence case, Mr Aprichart said “it depends on the evidence,” adding that “there are a lot of witnesses. It depends on what they will say”.

Sancho was driven to the court in a closed car and was not visible to reporters waiting outside. Sancho’s father, Spanish actor Rodolfo Sancho, also came to the court but declined to comment.

Sancho, a chef, was arrested in August after the remains of Mr Arrieta, 44, were discovered at the landfill.

Police said Sancho came in to report a missing person and was subsequently detained. He later reportedly confessed to killing and dismembering Mr Arrieta and dumping the body parts in the landfill and the sea, though he denied that his action was premeditated, according to police.

By Press Association

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

Gitanas Nauseda

Lithuanians head to polls in second round of presidential election

Tel Aviv protest

Israeli police scuffle with protesters in huge demo against Netanyahu government

India Hospital Fire

Fire at a baby care centre kills seven infants in India’s capital

France Cannes 2024 Awards Ceremony

Sex worker drama Anora wins the Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival

Chile Forest Fires

Volunteer firefighter accused of causing fire that killed 137 people

Election 2024 Trump

Donald Trump confronts repeated booing during Libertarian convention speech

Obit Richard Sherman

Award-winning Disney songwriter Richard Sherman dies aged 95

France New Caledonia

Pro-independence leader in New Caledonia calls for resistance against France

India Fire

Four children among at least 27 dead in fire at amusement park in western India

LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 16: Grayson Murray hits a tee shot on No. 5 during the first round of the PGA Championship, May 16, 2024, at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky.(Photo by Matthew Maxey/Icon Sportswire) (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)

PGA Tour golfer Grayson Murray dead at 30 after withdrawing from tournament through illness

Italy G7 Finance Ministers

G7 moves towards agreement on money for Ukraine from frozen Russian assets

Nicki Minaj has been arrested on suspicion on carrying drugs at Amsterdam Airport throwing her show at the troubled Co-Op Live Arena tonight into turmoil.

Nicki Minaj arrested on suspicion of carrying drugs in Amsterdam as singer cancels Manchester show

Sexual Misconduct Harvey Weinstein

Prosecutors accuse Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer of violating conduct rules

France Cannes 2024 Awards Ceremony

Cannes Film Festival draws to close as stars arrive for Palme d’Or presentation

Volodymyr Zelensky

Zelensky says Ukraine has taken back control in areas of Kharkiv region

Israeli offensive

Egypt agrees to send aid trucks through Israeli crossing to Gaza