May 30, 2024

Balkan Travellers

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Thailand: Son of Spanish actor Rodolfo Sancho kills surgeon and tries to mutilate organs.

Thailand: Son of Spanish actor Rodolfo Sancho kills surgeon and tries to mutilate organs.

Almost a year after the crime, his motivations are still unclear. The trial of Spanish actor Rodolfo Sancho's son, accused of killing and dismembering a man on the southern Thai tourist island of Koh Phangan, began on the neighboring island of Koh Samui on Tuesday.

Daniel Sancho Prongelo, a 30-year-old chef, has been charged with the premeditated murder of Edwin Arrieta Arteaga, 44, a renowned plastic surgeon in Colombia in the summer of 2023.

Refusal to answer questions

He pleaded not guilty at trial in November. He faces the death penalty. His trial began on Tuesday morning in a Koh Samui court, attended by dozens of Spanish journalists.

Journalists were not allowed inside the small courtroom. The accused's father, popular TV actor Rodolfo Sancho, arrived at the court shortly after 8:30 a.m. (3:30 a.m. Pais time) and said his son was “fine” before entering the courtroom. Apichart Srinual, Daniel Sancho Bronchalo's lawyer, confirmed that his client would appear in court but declined to answer questions from journalists.

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Juan Gonzalo Ospina Serrano, a lawyer representing the victim's family, said he hoped to “tell the truth” outside court before the trial. “We hope the family can bring closure to this painful phase of their lives and begin their grieving,” he added.

Mobile is clearly not installed

Daniel Sancho Bronchalo has been in pre-trial detention since August after “confessing” to the murder, police said. The motive for the murder is not clear. The trial is expected to last until mid-May, with several witnesses expected to appear.

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According to Spanish media, Daniel Sancho and Arrieta communicated on Instagram in 2022, before meeting in Thailand, where the accused arrived as a tourist on July 31. In early August, the surgeon's body parts, including his pelvis and thighs, were found in a dump, according to police.

CCTV footage obtained by local media showed Daniel Sancho and the victim on a motorcycle together shortly before the remains were found.