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Three youths no longer suspects

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Three youths no longer suspects | Thaiger

PHUKET CITY: Three youths previously arrested for the fatal stabbing of Norwegian Simen Sparre Knudsen in Rawai on September 23 are no longer under suspicion for the murder, the police officer in charge of the investigation has revealed.

Phuket City Police Inspector Pol Lt Col Somkid Boonrat, assigned to investigate the case by Phuket Provincial Police, today said that questioning of two of the suspects had convinced him that they were not responsible for Knudsen’s murder.

They have however confessed to the theft of a motorbike rented to a Swiss tourist, who was stopped and assaulted before having the bike stolen from him on the dark stretch of road near Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort in Karon on the night of September 27.

An off-duty Chalong Police officer, who rented the motorbike to the Swiss man, arrested 16-year-old “Pong” at about 7 pm on September 29. Under questioning by Chalong Police, Pong confessed to killing Knudsen with the help of two other youths: his half-brother Narongsak Tongviset and friend Theerapat Saivaree, both 18.

After their separate arrests by Phuket City Police a few days later, both Narongsak and Theerapat denied any knowledge of Knudsen’s murder.

Interrogated separately, they confessed only to stealing motorbikes from foreigners in Chalong District, he said.

As for the confession by 16-year-old Pong and his naming of the other two as his accomplices, Lt Col Somkid said he had not questioned the youth himself and had to rely on what he was told by Chalong Police. The youth might have been confused or under pressure to confess, he said.

Lt Col Somkid declined to comment on the possibility of a forced confession, saying that he well understood the pressure to solve the high-profile case.

Police are now investigating one suspect in the Knudsen case, a man whose personal details and appearance are known to police, Lt Col Somkid said.

“I can’t say with 100% certainty that he is the guilty one, but it is a possibility,” he told the Gazette.

He also pleaded with the media for enough time to conduct a thorough investigation, promising he would provide updates.

The investigation continues to be a major news story in Knudsen’s home country.

 

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