Artur Segarra appeal to overturn death sentence rejected by Thai Supreme Court
Catalan was found guilty of murdering businessman David Bernat in Bangkok in January 2016
Artur Segarra, the man sentenced to death for the murder of fellow Catalan businessman David Bernat in Bangkok in January 2016, has seen his appeal ultimately rejected by the Thai Supreme Court.
Bernat was a neighbor also living in Bangkok, and after he was killed, Segarra fled to Cambodia where he was handed in to Thai authorities.
Despite fleeing once the murder was committed, Segarra maintains his innocence and denies all charges which include murder, kidnapping, theft, and destruction of evidence among other offences.
Segarra said that the decision to maintain the sentence was ''not a surprise,'' and also criticized the trial as ''unfair'' due to a lack of direct witnesses of the murder.
The court did however rule the DNA presented by police, images and audio of security cameras and testimonies of various witnesses including a home employee and Segarra's former partners as sufficient for the sentence.
The police found that he had kidnapped Bernat on January 19 and held him in his apartment for seven days until he killed him. Authorities found traces of Bernat's blood in Segarra's flat, as well as footage of the two entering the apartment block, and the victim was not seen leaving it alive.
The sentence read that Segarra ''committed a premeditated murder with the intention of stealing money from the victim.''
Indeed, the investigation found that Bernat was extorted around €900,000, and strange bank transfers that took place after his death.
According to Thai police and courts, Segarra killed Bernat, cut up his body, froze it and later threw parts of it into a Bangkok river.
Segarra fled to Cambodia from Thailand on a motorbike, where he was then recognized by a Spanish couple when having dinner with his partner in a restaurant near the northern border of Cambodia.
Bernat's family did not know anything initially about Bernat's disappearance, until an English friend of Bernat's called his sister on February 1 because he had not heard anything from the victim, who had been due to arrive in Tehran, Iran, ten days prior.
Royal pardon only potential escape for Segarra
With the death penalty officially ratified, Segarra's only hope of avoiding it is if the Thai royal family grants him royal pardon. He has until January 20 to make the request.
The death penalty in Thailand is regulated by the country's law, but has not been used for 14 years. The last execution took place in 2009, when two drug traffickers were sentenced to death by lethal injection. Before this, there had not been an execution since 2003.
In 2015, the Spanish courts had issued an order for the search and capture of Segarra for avoiding Spanish justice. He was then facing trial for fraud, illicit possession of weapons and falsification of documents.