A former army officer sentenced to life for employing a gunman to shoot a soccer referee

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The Appeals Court reversed the acquittal verdict of the Criminal Court and sentenced a former army non-commissioned officer to life imprisonment after finding him guilty of attempting to murder a soccer referee at the parking lot of the Sports Authority of Thailand three years ago.

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The convict, Sgt-Maj Sirisak “Ja Luang “Chanluang, a former officer of the army intelligence unit, and Mr Kosin Seenualkham were charged by the public prosecutor of conspiring to kill Sgt Thanom “Pao Nom” Borikut, a soccer referee. The incident occurred at the parking lot of SAT. The victim was, however, seriously injured.

Mr Kosin, the first defendant and the alleged shooter, died during the trial by the Criminal Court, leaving Sirisak the only defendant tried in the Criminal Court and the Appeals Court.

The Criminal Court acquitted Sirisak on August 28, 2015 for insufficient evidence to prove his guilt. The court said that the incriminating testimony made against Sirisak by the alleged gunman was one-sided and was not corroborated other evidences of the prosecution. The court then gave the benefit of doubt to the defendant and acquitted him.

However, the Appeals Court thought otherwise, saying that even if the testimony of the alleged shooter was incriminating in nature against Sirisak, it would not have spared the former from the guilt.

Also, the court noted that the alleged shooter’s girlfriend had given her bank account number to Sirisak for money to be transferred into her account by the former army officer.

The Appeals Court then overturned the lower court’s acquittal verdict and sentenced Sirisak to life imprisonment for employing the alleged shooter to shoot the soccer referee.