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Phuket Court to try Swedish “killing’ duo separately



PHUKET: The Phuket Provincial Court today ruled that it will hear the cases of Swedish nationals Johan Sebastian Ljung and Tommy Viktor Soderlund separately.

The pair both stand charged with the premeditated murder of Maksim Schantz, collaboration in robbery and carrying a knife and an unlicensed firearm with ammunition on August 2 last year.

The court made its ruling after Mr Ljung accepted the charges, but Mr Soderlund denied all the charges against him at their court hearing today.

Two witnesses testified in the court hearing.

One witness testified that he was the man whose motorbike was hijacked by the two men while they were making their getaway.

The man told the judge that he was out on his motorbike searching for his rabbit, which had disappeared from his house, next to the Lantern Villa project in Koh Kaew. While bent over searching for the rabbit, Mr Soderlund kicked him and knocked the motorbike over, he told the court.

Mr Soderlund then grabbed the bike and took off with Mr Ljung riding pillion. Despite having seen Mr Soderlund carrying a gun and Mr Ljung carrying a knife, the witness said he attempted to chase down the duo.

The witness said that he was able to identify both men because of the light provided by the motorbike’s headlight.

The second witness to present evidence to the court also lived near the Lantern Villa project, where Mr Schantz was killed. The witness explained to the court that he heard something break and went outside to investigate.

Outside, he was confronted by Mr Soderlund and Mr Ljung. He asked who they were, but jumped out of their way when one of them looked to be pulling “something” from a bag, he said.

He confirmed to the court that there had been a scuffle between the men and the first witness.

Court dates to continue the trials of Mr Soderlund and Mr Ljung have yet to be set.

— Atchaa Khamlo


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