[Deathpenalty]death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Fri Mar 3 15:12:26 CST 2006
Prisoners Have Dignity, Says Benedict XVI
In a message to a conference on health in prisons, Benedict XVI emphasized
the human dignity that inmates retain, their violations of the law
Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state, sent a brief message
in the Pope's name to the Italian National Congress on health in prisons,
organized by the country's Department of Penitentiary Administration.
The message aimed to "affirm the duty to respect the human dignity of the
individual who has broken the law so that he continues to feel part of the
society and is committed to be reintegrated in it."
In the context of the congress, held Wednesday in Rome, the Department of
Penitentiary Administration published a report on health in Italian
It reveals that in 2005, in the country's 207 prisons, there were 59,523
prisoners, including 2,804 women. About 1/3 of the prisoners, 19,836, are
citizens of countries that do not belong to the European Union.
Among prisoners there are 16,179 drug addicts (27%), while 11,800 (19.8%)
suffer pathologies of the nervous system or mental problems.
Last year 57 people committed suicide in Italian prisons, 5 more than in
(source: Zenit News Agency)
Chalor gets death sentence----Appeals Court strikes out jail-for-life
The Appeals Court yesterday handed the death sentence to former police
commissioner Chalor Kerdthes for his involvement in the murder of the wife
and son of a gems trader, a case connected to the high-profile Saudi gems
theft. The decision overrode the lower court's verdict in December 2002
which gave Pol Lt-Gen Chalor and three other defendants life imprisonment
In its ruling, the Appeals Court upheld the guilty verdict and sentenced
him to death for masterminding the abduction and premeditated murder of
Darawadee and Seri, wife and son of Santi Srithanakhan.
Lt-Gen Chalor looked edgy as the verdict was read out.
Vinyu Kawinkham, the lawyer representing the Srithanakhan family, said
after the sentence was read out that Mr Santi would like to thank the
press for their investigative reporting into the case.
The Appeals Court also upheld rulings against five other people implicated
in the case.
Pol Lt-Col Phansak Mongkolsilpa, Nikhom Monsiri and Samran Chaemchamras
were sentenced to life imprisonment, while Veerachai Polthisaeng and
Sommai Putthes received jail terms of 2 years and 8 months for supporting
the officers when they misused their power.
Only Pol Snr Sgt-Maj Somnuek Vejjasri, attached to the Sa Kaeo police
station, was cleared of all charges.
The court dismissed the cases against 2 other defendants, Pol Sgt-Maj Yong
Klinna and Supharp Changsarn, who died during the trial.
The abduction and murder took place while Pol Lt-Gen Chalor was looking
into the Saudi gems theft case.
Worker Kriangkrai Techamong stole the jewels from the Saudi royal family
in 1989 while working as a cleaner in the Saudi palace.
Kriangkrai had already sold some of the stolen jewellery, including the
rare blue diamond necklace which was never recovered, to Mr Santi before
he was caught and charged with the robbery.
After failing to force Mr Santi to reveal the whereabouts of the gems, Pol
Lt-Gen Chalor and the other defendants kidnapped his wife and son from
their Taling Chan house and held them captive at Kawee Villa resort in Sa
They beat the two unconscious and put them in the woman's Mercedes and
parked it in the middle of the highway in Saraburi. The Mercedes was hit
by a big truck. The gems theft saga also strained relations between
Bangkok and Riyadh for more than a decade.
Bilateral relations took a sour turn in the 1990s following the murder of
four Saudi embassy officials. The murders have remained unsolved until
The Saudi diplomats were shot dead in 1989 and 1990, which prompted the
Saudi government to ban Thai labour exports to the country.
(source: Bangkok Post)
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