In August last year, Mr. Robert Hollick, 43, from New Zealand was stabbed to death after a bar fight over a dog in Pattaya, Thailand. Thai police arrested and charged Swedish man Andreas Ringvill with murder but the Swede was mysteriously allowed to leave the country while on bail last October. He never returned since. The situation has upset Hollick’s family. The New Zealand embassy was also informed of the situation.
Thai police said they will seek to extradite the alleged Swedish killer Andreas Ringvall.
According to stuff.co.nz, an investigation by Fairfax Media has revealed:
* Ringvall was released on bail after paying 500,000 baht, more than $20,000. Unusually, his passport was returned but Thai Immigration was told not to let him leave the country.
* After he was granted bail, an unknown person warned the New Zealand embassy that Ringvall would try to flee.
* Ringvall was granted permission by the Pattaya court to return to Sweden for two weeks in October but never returned.
* An investigation into his disappearance is under way, as it is not usual for murder suspects to be allowed to leave Thailand.
Police Colonel Superintendent Sinard Ajhanwong, head of Thai Interpol, said they would seek to have Ringvall extradited.
Sweden typically refused to extradite its citizens but if that proved to be so, Thai police would expect Swedish authorities to press murder charges against Ringvall, he said.
“Please can you give [Hollick’s] family my sympathies and tell them to please be patient, be calm.
“We will make the request. Whether the Swedish authorities will hand him over, we don’t know. The main point is it’s pretty serious.”
He said Hollick’s family had the right to be upset about the situation.
It is understood the Royal Thai Police are investigating why Ringvall was allowed to leave, and given the circumstances that is expected to include whether any bribe was paid to officials.
Hollick’s mother, Anne Hollick, said she was thrilled to hear Thai authorities would take action.
The Upper Hutt woman said it was the first good news she had received since her son’s death and she hoped it meant Ringvall would have to face up to his alleged crime.
“I don’t think of him as a person, quite frankly. I only want justice because it’s the right thing to do, not only in my case but for everybody.”
Ajhanwong was involved in another international murder case last December when British kickboxer Lee Aldhouse was extradited back to Thailand after he allegedly stabbed to death United States ex- marine Dashawn Longfellow in Phuket in August 2010, then fled home.
It was the first time British authorities had handed over a criminal suspect to Thailand. Aldhouse is in jail in Thailand awaiting his trial in August.
Ajhanwong also cited a recent case where a German man murdered a Thai woman in Chiang Mai in 2009 then absconded to Germany, where he was later put on trial for murder and found guilty after authorities refused Thailand’s request to extradite him.
“He’s in jail now in Germany.”
To read more, click here for a full report by Shane Cowlishaw and Deidre Mussen.