Verdict over murder of Kiwi in Thailand expected in March

By Kim Fulton of the Westport News

Westport man Charles Jones was found dead in his hotel apartment at Thai beach resort, Pattaya. Photo / APN
Westport man Charles Jones was found dead in his hotel apartment at Thai beach resort, Pattaya. Photo / APN

The verdict in trial of an ex-Syrian commando accused of killing Westport man Charles Jones in Thailand may be known on March 14.

The court case began in November after several postponements. It resumed last week after an adjournment and is due to wrap up in March.

Mr Jones' sister Alison McMillan said she understood the March date was for a verdict and possibly sentencing.

"I think this may be the one we're waiting for.''

Ms McMillan travelled to Thailand in November to attend the trial, along with Mr Jones' friend Stuart Yeatman.

A woman whose apartment Mr Jones had stayed in would attend court on March 14, Ms McMillan said. She had been providing information to his family and friends in New Zealand throughout the case.

Mr Jones, 56, was stabbed to death in his hotel room at the Thai beach resort of Pattaya while on holiday in August 2011.

Former Syrian army commando Mohamad Shanar Ryad was charged with his murder.

Ryad admitted killing Mr Jones but said he had reacted after the New Zealander had tried to rape him.

Mr Yeatman had told the court Mr Jones would never attack someone and was incapacitated with a shoulder injury.

It's understood Ryad plans to admit it was a botched robbery and drop his allegations against Mr Jones.

Mr Jones was the New Zealand president of the World Croquet Federation and was on his way home from a world croquet tournament in London when he was killed.

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