The dark horizon of Daniel Sancho after the judge's dismissal

If something has dominated the trial of Daniel Sancho, already seen for sentencing, it has been the dozens of comments, often jokes that, mixed with ideas and profound analyzes based on monosyllabic statements at the exit of the court or through interested leaks, have allowed fifty reporters here, and I don't know how many more in the rest of the world, have been writing or going live for a month, taking our own work with pins and needles. Of course, if the judge had allowed us entry, another rooster would have crowed.

Thomas, fictitious name –because I am going to take away from this coverage that no one wants to come forward when something newsworthy comes to light–, He has been working for the Bangkok courts for years. He is a man with experience who He doesn't know anything about the Daniel Sancho case, except what I tell himbecause for those who don't know, in Thailand no one, absolutely no one, talks about this story that is so widely covered in the media in our country and a good part of Latin America.

Daniel Sancho arrived in a van without tinted windowsGtres

And Thomas puts me in my place after having told him twelve possible theories in just over half an hour. “What if all your external efforts had been worthless, except so that you could continue working?” he tells me. “I mean most likely nothing new has happened since Sancho was read the charges, and that the prosecutor has never said that he saw it possible to withdraw the charge of premeditated murder, and that the defense has not managed to turn the tables,” he argues. Based on his words, one has to accept that he could be right. If you look closely, the prosecutor, who they claim was very harsh and explicit with Sancho during his question time, could have simply made a comment that the media either took out of context or simply exaggerated. For example, it is not the same as what the prosecutor said “that premeditation is always complicated” that “proving premeditation in this case is complicated”, he points to me. «Because, how was the prosecutor going to say that? He would run against him! Has he already withdrawn that position? », He concludes.

In this trial, furthermore, the reporters sent there have experienced constant interest from the interested parties in telling us what was best for them. If Ospina, taking advantage of his ability to access the courtroom, and later to testify, had not spoken with us four times a day – the two daily entrances and two exits to the court – we would have had much less information. But even so, who can assure us that there was no, shall we say, distortion in his statements?


Because in the same way, heads have been poisoned, making us believe that they had actually found a torso, something that was flatly false, but by the time we discovered the truth it was already the news of the day in numerous media. Because Rodolfo Sancho has also exercised his will to let some journalist drop what interested him the most from his rope. With this I just want to clarify that maybe Thomas is more right than me and the rest of the reporters. And What was going on in the Madrid newsrooms mattered little in the room where Daniel, in shackles, listened to the number of witnesses who corroborated his statements from months ago.. And he left the consul for last, who, apparently, also leaked information daily, although never to the reporters who spent the entire day there.

Juan Gonzalo Ospina, the lawyer for the family of Colombian Edwin Arrieta (whose death the Spaniard Daniel Sancho is accused of), addresses the press
Juan Gonzalo Ospina, the lawyer for the family of Colombian Edwin Arrieta (whose death the Spaniard Daniel Sancho is accused of), addresses the press Kiko HuescaEFE Agency

About Daniel Sancho we should try to understand certain moves by his team of lawyers. Because according to Thomas and other experts in these matters, bringing in Spanish experts to tell the judge things that they already know inside out in Thailand is considered almost a humiliation. Something like if a guy from Arkansas showed up in Plaza Castilla telling us how to make gazpacho. And I'm not telling you paella anymore.

Because of the supposed number of defense witnesses, not even half of them could answer the questions, understanding the bad situation that Carmen Balfagón is left with, who even repeated histrionics on the sets of half of Spain that coconuts are cut with saws and garbage bags are used as raincoats. After not being allowed to make a statement – ​​the same as his partner Ramón Chippirrás – the next day a supposed Thai chef, instead of going to tell the story in court, stayed at work cutting coconuts, who knows if with knives or with kicks.

Thomas also emphasizes something important: “The image of Thailand, and even more so on a very touristy island, a jewel of the country, would be called into question if the penalty is not what it deserves.” And he adds something important: «Imagine that it is actually a premeditated murder and that it receives a lesser sentence. Do you really think that this scandal would be good for Thailand, which needs tourists to grow? And another thing, how do you then tell the German, French, British diplomats, who have some of their citizens on death row, that In Thailand are there a la carte trials?» When I reply that corruption exists in Thailand and that, although rarely, there is data that certifies rigging, he concludes emphatically: «If the process had not been so high-profile, I would believe it. But… how many journalists are going to come to read the sentence? I say this because of the morbidity it arouses. Sixty? Seventy? I very much doubt that if they have certainty, the accused will get away with it,” he said.

Another matter that Thomas has also informed me about is something that was widely discussed during the trial. If the death penalty falls on you, knowing that it has been a long time since foreigners have been executed, there is a relatively easy way to soften the future: with a letter of repentance acknowledging the facts addressed to the King of Thailand who would grant that person royal forgiveness. And from there, as we well know, a maximum of eight years until the process begins to return the prisoner to his country of origin. But, something was missing. Not exactly a ridiculous fact. «Without compensation for the damage he could spend the rest of his life behind bars. In other words, the compensation set by the judge must be paid in order to return to his country,” he concludes.