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The suspects take a break during Michelle Smith's murder reenactment

Phuket Tourist's Murder: Two to Face Trial on Monday

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Phuket police closely connected to the Michelle Smith murder case on Tuesday rejected reports that the two men had appeared in court the previous day. An official at Phuket Prison confirmed that the two men had not left the jail this week.

Original Report

PHUKET: Two men are to face trial on Phuket next Monday for the knife-murder of Australian travel agent Michelle Smith in a bag-snatch that went wrong.

Mrs Smith, 60, chose to not let go of her bag and was allegedly stabbed by Surasak ''Boy'' Suwannachot, 26, who sped off on the back of a motorcycle ridden by Surin Taptong, 37.

The men were filmed during the robbery on June 20 by security cameras outside a five-star resort in Kata Noi, on Phuket's west coast, and later took part in a reenactment of the killing.

If the trial goes ahead on Monday, it will be little more than six weeks since Mrs Smith's murder.

The prosecution and police appear to have worked hard to complete the evidence and bring the case to Phuket Provincial Court.

Fellow travel agent Tammee Lee Lynn, who was with Mrs Smith and who was wounded, is not expected to return from Perth to Phuket to give evidence at the trial.

Mrs Smith's murder triggered an intense pursuit of the suspects and their speedy arrest. Senior Bangkok police officers became involved at the request of Thailand's Prime Minister, Yingluck Shinawatra.

In the afermath of the murder, Phuket police and Phuket resorts began working to establish a more complete network of security cameras all over Phuket.

Within days of the knifing, the Australian Ambassador, James Wise, visited Phuket and called for a total ban on illegal weapons of all kinds on Phuket.

Progress on the plan to make Phuket a safer place is expected to become plain when resort managers, police and local authorities meet at a ''Safe Phuket'' summit on August 17 in Patong.


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Monday December 4, 2023
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