A Spaniard was sentenced to death on Friday for killing a countryman, mutilating his body and throwing parts into the Chao Phraya river in January last year.
Ratchadapisek Criminal Court in Bangkok ruled that there was strong scientific evidence to convict Artur Segarra Princep for the murder of fellow Spanish national David Bernat, although police and prosecutors did not produce any definitive witnesses to implicate him.
Segarra, who arrived at court smiling while with the biblical Luke 23:34 (“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do) scrawled on his hand, was charged with detaining and torturing Bernat at his apartment in the Huai Kwang area for 10 days between January 20 and 30 last year.
He forced 40-year-old Bernat to reveal his cash card PIN number, which Segarra then used to steal over Bt700,000. Segarra force-fed Bernat a cocktail of drugs, then covered the victim’s head with a plastic bag and duct tape to suffocate him.
Segarra then dismembered the victim’s frozen corpse and dumped body parts in various spots along the Chao Phraya River.
Following discovery of body parts, Segarra was arrested in Cambodia on February 7 last year and sent back to Thailand the next day. Having been detained in Bangkok Remand Prison, he had pleaded not guilty in previous court hearings to the 13 charges including premeditated murder, kidnapping, concealing a body, torture and theft.
Although Segarra maintained his innocence, the court ruled security camera footage and accounts from the maid of the PG Condominium and his Thai girlfriend provided strong enough to convict him.
Investigators also found Segarra’s fingerprints on an electric saw that had traces of blood which matched the victim’s DNA.
The court ruled that Segarra committed the murder for savings worth tens of millions of baht. He was also found guilty of falsifying documents to transfer Bt730,000 from Bernat’s account to his own.
A Spanish female friend of Segarra, a Catholic priest and members of the Spanish media were in court to hear the verdict.