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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 January 2006, 11:08 GMT
Trial 'overwhelms' Horton killers
By Chris Walsh-Heron
BBC News, Surat Thani

Thai fisherman Wichai Somkhaoyai, 24, centre, is escorted to a courtroom in Surat Thani, Thailand, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2006
Thai fisherman Wichai Somkhaoyai faces lethal injection

The two fisherman who confessed to Katherine's murder were swamped by dozens of reporters and photographers from across the world as they stepped out of the prison van that had brought them in to the provincial court of Surat Thani.

They were led into the packed courtroom, both in shackles and seeming overwhelmed by events.

But as they took their place at the dock, they began to smile nervously as the TV cameras began to focus on them.

As the judges began summing up the case against Wichai Somkhaoyai and Bualoi Posit, the pair bowed their heads and only Posit made eye contact with the panel.

Colonel Preecha Thimimontri said the case has had a large impact on Koh Samui's tourist industry but stressed that the 'Land of Smiles' was still a safe place for visitors to come

The court heard their confessions, the eyewitness statements and the compelling DNA evidence linking them to the crime.

They remained solemn as they were handed the death penalty, but as the court rose they were once again surrounded by the media, eager for comment.

Death deterrent

Amid the melee of reporters jostling for position, they were taken to a van waiting to take them back to prison.

Colonel Preecha Thimimontri, who led the investigation, said the death penalty sets the best example to stop people committing crimes like this in the future.

He said the case has had a large impact on Koh Samui's tourist industry but stressed that the "Land of Smiles" was still a safe place for visitors to come.

On Koh Samui itself, people have been very upset and embarrassed by this crime.

Jack, manager of the Spa resort near the spot where Katherine died, told me he hopes that the world can forgive them for what happened there.

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