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No appeal in Fanelli case: Phuket prosecutor

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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No appeal in Fanelli case: Phuket prosecutor | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: The Phuket Public Prosecutor’s Office will not file an appeal over sentencing in the case of convicted murderer Ronald Fanelli, the Phuket Gazette has learned.

Fanelli, a former US Navy officer, was on November 1 convicted of the June 2010 stabbing murder of Wanphen Pienjai, a hostess at the Sweethearts Bar in Kata.

Fanelli was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment on charges of premeditated murder and an additional six months for trying to conceal Ms Pienjai’s body.

Given his confession, the Court halved the sentence to 10 years and three months based on his confession, as is customary in the Thai judicial system.

The prosecution and defense teams were give until today to appeal. Despite earlier indications that the prosecution would appeal for a stiffer sentence, Phuket Deputy Public Prosecutor Permgiart Bunsung said today that the decision had been made to let the sentence stand.

Mr Permgiart, who prosecuted the case, said he has been informed by Fanelli’s lawyer that she would not appeal the guilty verdict.

The case file has now been forwarded to Phuket Governor Tri Augkaradacha for final approval, he said.

“If he approves our decision not to appeal, the case will be closed and Fanelli will serve the 10 year, three month sentence.

“If he does not approve, the case will be forwarded to the Attorney General’s Office in Bangkok for a final ruling,” he said.

“The decision now rests with the governor, who is not subject to any deadline,” he said.

Mr Permgiat explained that the Public Prosecutor must have the governor’s approval in every case that the prosecutors do not want to appeal, no matter how trivial the case may be.

If Governor Tri approves, Fanelli will serve the 10 years, 3 months, minus time already served. This works out to a release date in mid-October 2020.

The Gazette has thus far been unable to reach Fanelli’s lawyer to get a comment on whether Mr Fanelli would seek a transfer from the overcrowded Phuket Prison to another facility in Thailand, or to try and seek deportation to serve out his sentence in the US.

Transfer out of Phuket Prison would likely be welcomed by Fanelli. During a brief interview shortly before the ruling, he told the Gazette that he had survived an attempt on his life as he slept in his overcrowded dormitory.

During the interview he said he was getting “more and more used to” prison life with each passing day, but that he had a lot of “headaches”, mostly from other foreign inmates.

He had been learning a lot of Thai language and said his comprehension was in the “60% to 70% range”, which often means he called upon to serve as a translator, he said.

Thai inmates seem to accept their fate more readily than their foreign counterparts, many of whom continue to maintain a false sense of entitlement, he said.

“There is one guy who has been in here for three years and he still seems to have no idea what the cement walls and barbed wire mean,” he said.

Asked about the overcrowding problem, he said he had respect for the wardens who had to do their best to deal with every convict assigned to the facility by the Court.

“They don’t know what the solution is. Nobody does,” he said.

Click here to see the video of Fanelli making his confession at a Phuket City Police press conference.

— C Plerin / S Fein

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Tourism

Phuket prepares to welcome first Chinese tourists in over 6 months

Maya Taylor

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Phuket prepares to welcome first Chinese tourists in over 6 months | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Jing Daily

The first group of tourists to arrive under Thailand’s new Special Tourist Visa scheme are expected to land in Phuket on October 8. The Bangkok Post reports that a flight from Guangzhou in southern China will carry 120 tourists, who will spend their first 14 days in alternative state quarantine. They are reported to be travelling under the government’s new STV.

Arrivals who do not pass the initial health screening will be transferred to specially chosen hospitals, as “Patients under Investigation”. Those who do pass the screening will be transported to alternative state quarantine once they’ve gone through immigration processing.

A Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration spokesperson says the resort islands of Phuket and Koh Samui will be the first to welcome travellers under the Special Tourist Via scheme. He pointed out that Guangzhou has not recorded any new cases of the Covid-19 virus for a prolonged period, meaning next week’s tourist arrivals are deemed “low risk”. His assertion is confirmed from the official figures at worldometer.info website recording world Covid-19 cases.

The CCSA reports that there will be a limit of 300 foreign tourists admitted each week, but this will be reviewed after the first phase of the re-opening. All arrivals will be subject to 14 day quarantine, although the Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn has suggested reducing this to 7 days eventually. The CCSA says they are not considering reducing the quarantine time at this stage.

Thiravat Hemachudha from the Thai Red Cross Emerging Infectious Disease Health Science Centre is not opposed to the idea.

“We can study this with foreign visitors who will arrive next month. During the 14 day quarantine they will be tested on the first, the seventh and the fourteenth day. If they are free of infections, we can shorten the quarantine to 7 days.”

However, not all are in agreement, with a doctor from Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University cautioning against any shortening of the quarantine period.

Meanwhile, Phuket governor, Narong Woonsiew, says the province is ready to welcome the new arrivals, with Covid-19 labs in place at Phuket airport, and officials due to carry out a full dress rehearsal today.

Thanit Sermkaew, chief of the Phuket Public Health Office, says over 1,200 rooms at 9 hotels have been chosen as alternative state quarantine properties, with a total of 73 hotels, providing over 5,800 rooms, applying for consideration.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Phuket

Woman arrested for abandoning newborn baby on a bench in Phuket

Caitlin Ashworth

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Woman arrested for abandoning newborn baby on a bench in Phuket | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Siangtai/Newshawk Phuket

Police tracked down and arrested a Burmese woman who allegedly left her newborn baby on a bench in Phuket’s Patong area last week. The mother faces charges of abandoning a baby.

The newborn was left in a reusable shopping bag on a bench behind a Krungthai Bank branch. A woman in the area heard the baby crying and found the newborn in the bag along with a bottle of milk, diapers and clothing. Police reviewed surveillance camera footage shows a woman, police later identified as Ei Ei Phyu, leaving the bag on the bench.

Police say the woman gave birth on September 9 at a local hospital in Surat Thani’s Phun Phin district. Ei Ei allegedly took a van from Surat Thani to Phuket on September 22 and stayed with a friend in Patong. The early the next morning, she allegedly left her baby on the bench before boarding a bus back to Surat Thani.

Burmese workers in the Patong area told police Ei Ei used to work at a local Indian food restaurant before she moved to Surat Thani to work as a rubber tapper. Ei Ei allegedly told police she is not in the position to raise a child.

In earlier reports, police said the baby is healthy and does not appear to have any injuries.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand

Phuket police arrest 6 after finding large amounts of methamphetamine in raid

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Phuket police arrest 6 after finding large amounts of methamphetamine in raid | The Thaiger

Phuket Provincial Police have arrested 6 people after finding large amounts of methamphetamine and other drugs during a raid. One suspect alone allegedly had 7.6 kilograms of crystal meth (ya ice) and over 12,500 methamphetamine pills (ya bah). 29 year old Surasak ‘Bank’ Wijit and 27 year old Panida ‘Mei’ Saeyang were arrested at an apartment car park in Soi Lookkaew, Moo 6, Rassada, in eastern Phuket, after they were found in possession of the drugs.

Police also found 2 mobile phones and a red Honda PCX, registered in Phuket, as evidence. Both suspects have been charged with posessing a Category 1 drug with the intent to sell.

Other suspects arrested at the same time include 36 year old from Chiang Rai, 42 year old Sarawut ‘An’ Srichanon, from Ranong and 31 year old Pornthep ‘Iew’ Thepchampa, who were charged with the same crimes in Chalong after police found more drugs in their possession. 33 year old Kamon ‘Kung’ Sae-ngow, was arrested as well after police found kratom juice and leaves at a house in Rassada. He was taken to Phuket City Police station and was charged with a Category 5 drug possession.

SOURCE:The Phuket News

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