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Spanish celebrity chef goes on trial over Koh Pha Ngan murder

PHOTO: NBC News

Daniel Sancho Bronchalo, a popular celebrity chef and the son of a famous Spanish actor, has started his trial for the murder of Colombian surgeon Edwin Arrieta Arteaga last year.

Arteaga was killed on the island of Koh Pha Ngan in August 2023, with parts of his body found at a rubbish dump on the island. Bronchalo is accused of killing, then dismembering the 44 year old Colombian, who is believed to have been his partner.

His trial opened yesterday on the island of Koh Samui, with many Spanish reporters flying in for the occasion, despite being banned from the courtroom itself.

Bronchalo’s father, the Spanish actor Rodolfo Sancho, arrived at the court at around 8.30am yesterday. His 29 year old son denies the charges, with his lawyer, Apichart Srinual, declining to speak to waiting reporters.

Juan Gonzalo Ospina Serrano, a lawyer representing the victim’s family, addressed the media outside the court, saying the family hopes, “Thai law will be forceful, that the truth can be told. We hope that the family can close this painful stage of their life and that they can begin their mourning.”

Bronchalo has been in custody since August, with police claiming he admitted to the murder. In Thailand, a conviction for premeditated murder carries the death penalty. However, it’s understood the victim’s family have stated they would not seek the death penalty.

(Death Penalties are routinely commuted in Thailand and there has been only sporadic use of lethal injection since 2007)

According to Spanish media reports, both men met over Instagram in 2022, with Bronchalo travelling to Thailand on July 31 to meet the Colombian. CCTV footage from shortly before the surgeon’s remains were found shows both men riding a motorbike together.

Scores of witnesses are scheduled to appear at the trial, which is expected to last until mid-May.

SOURCE: Agence France-Presse

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