PHUKET: The Phuket Provincial Court has dismissed all charges against the five men accused of participation in the murder six years ago of American businessman Danis Wayne Tong. The five accused – Belgian businessman Hugo Vandervelde along with Thais Manit Panme, Pratin Praktong, Prajuab Sukkong and Pairat Raksawong – were all freed by the court for lack of evidence, Pol Col Apirak Hongtong, Deputy Commander of the Phuket Provincial Police, told the Gazette. Mr Tong, 47, was gunned down outside his Rawai residence on the night of June 24, 1997. Following his arrest five months after the murder, Mr Vandervelde spent 21 months in custody before being released on bail of 1 million baht on August 13, 1999.
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