Daniel Sancho pleads ‘not guilty’ of two of three crimes and sympathizes chained hand and foot: “The image was chilling”

The day has arrived. This Tuesday, April 9, the provincial court of Koh Samui began its oral trial against Daniel Sancho, accused of murdering Colombian surgeon Edwin Arrieta on August 2 on the Thai island of Koh Phangan. In the first session, the chef has pleaded ‘not guilty’ to two of the three crimes of which he is accused: he admits that he hid the body, but denies the accusations of premeditated murder and document appropriation.

One of the lawyers defending Arrieta’s family, Juan Gonzalo Ospina, has assured after the first hours of the trial that Sancho “has shown no sense of regret” and that he has been seen as “very sure of himself.” He has also indicated that the image of the accused, chained hand and foot, “It’s been chilling.” For his part, Marcos García-Montes, one of the chef’s lawyers, explained on Catalunya Radio that “the first viewing went well“. “It is being considered reckless homicide. We will see if it is serious or not,” he reported. The trial started around 9:45 a.m. and was suspended momentarily after one of the attendees tried to record images of the room during the interrogations, according to reports. ABC.

Thailand’s judicial system allows the defendant to question witnesses during the session, so Sancho has addressed two of the prosecution’s witnesses who coincided with him in Koh Phangan: the owner of the hotel where the cook and the chef reserved two rooms and the person to whom he rented the kayak to throw Arrieta’s remains into the sea. For the first day, a hotel employee and the woman who found the victim’s body in the landfill have also been summoned to testify.

The prosecution has 53 pieces of evidence to prove that Daniel prepared the death of the Colombian. These include forensic and DNA reports, and Sancho’s acquisition of knives, a saw, garbage bags and cleaning products on August 1, a day before the alleged murder and dismemberment took place, which he considers incriminating elements.

The litigation will last from April 9 to May 3, with the participation of some 50 witnesses. It should be said that Arrieta’s parents, who were going to testify via videoconference, were finally ruled out. The chef, for his part, has also lost several important testimonies during this time: his ex-girlfriend and a psychiatrist who were going to prove the alleged coercion and threats to which he was subjected. Starting this Tuesday, daily sessions will be held from Tuesday to Friday: 16 in total, in which Daniel Sancho must be present, from the beginningat 9:00 a.m. in Thailand (4:00 a.m. in Spain).

Rodolfo Sancho, “in shock” and “dumbfounded”

The father of the accused, Rodolfo Sancho, arrived at the Samui court early in the morning and greeted the press with a calm and smiling attitude. This same Tuesday, HBO Max released the first installment of a docuseries, The Sancho case, which will address the rest of this event. The starting chapter premiered at 9:00 a.m. and under the name Episode Zero. “Daniel doesn’t have that criminal resume, I got going and called the embassy. I reacted quickly,” says the actor from The ministry of timewho received the news of what happened last summer “with astonishment.”

A trial marked by secrecy

The judge in the case, whose name is confidential, has ordered on this first day of the trial that nothing that happens inside the room in which it is held is reported and has banned access to journalists. He has also warned all parties, including lawyers and the prosecutor, that do not offer details of the process. The dissemination of information could lead to prison sentences, they warn.

They have even gone to the provincial court dozens of media outlets. To be able to attend the room you must attend various norms collected by Buddhist culture. These include entering barefoot, with long pants or with your shoulders covered.