Thai police arrest fugitive in Dutch expat's 2003 murder

Police in Thailand have arrested a man who has been a fugitive since being convicted in absentia of the 2003 murder of a Dutch expatriate

BANGKOK -- Police in Thailand have arrested a man who has been a fugitive since being convicted in absentia of the 2003 murder of a Dutch expatriate.

Anupong Sutthani, one of three people convicted of killing Jules Odekerken, was arrested Tuesday evening in the northern province of Phrae, police said Wednesday.

Odekerken married a Thai woman, Marisa Prommana, in 1997 and had been running a newspaper in the resort town of Pattaya when he was killed.

A 2007 trial established that his wife had conspired with a Thai lover and her elder brother to get Odekerken's life insurance and inherit his assets, which were estimated to be 100 million baht-200 million baht ($3.2 million-$6.4 million).

Anupong, the lover, was a former politician who had working as a contractor to help build Odekerken's house, a police statement said.

Odekerken was beaten to death by Anupong and the brother, Seksan Prommana, who left his battered body at a garbage dump, it said.

Marisa, with whom Odekerken had a daughter, was charged along with her brother and Anupong with murdering him.

The brother and sister were convicted and received life sentences, but Anupong jumped bail and subsequently was found guilty in absentia and sentenced to death.

The police Crime Suppression Division said Anupong had changed his name to escape. It did not make clear how he was tracked down.

It said he had confessed to the killing and been transferred to the Pattaya Provincial Court.