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Spaniard Segarra Gets Death Sentence Commuted

HM the King commutes murder conviction to life in prison, opening door to extradition

HM the King commutes murder conviction to life in prison, opening door to extradition
Artur Segarra at the time of his arrest and trial in Criminal Court.

A Spaniard facing death for assassinating a compatriot in Bangkok in 2016 has received a royal pardon, commuting his life sentence and possibly allowing him to serve out his term back home.

Artur Segarra, 42, was among those receiving pardons from HM the King and was made official in the Royal Gazette Aug. 14.

He was first convicted in April 2017 of the kidnapping, robbery and premeditated murder of fellow Spaniard David Bernat. He lost his final appeal before the Supreme Court in November.

Not only does the pardon, made to mark the King’s 68th birthday, get Segarra off death row, but it opens the door for him to start the process to be transferred to a prison in Spain after 2024.

Segarra had maintained his innocence throughout his prosecution and appeals but two days before Christmas confessed in a letter to HM King Vajiralongkorn, begging for mercy and intervention to stop his execution.

Segarra was not the only high-profile convicts to receive clemency. Two Burmese men sentenced to death for the murders of two British backpackers in 2014 also had their sentences commuted.

In his letter, Segarra reportedly admitted that on Jan. 19, 2016 he killed Bernat in a violent fight, although he conveniently left out details of what he did next.

Prosecutors said Segarra intentionally kidnapped Bernat to steal the contents of his Singapore bank account. Once he had tortured Bernat for a week to obtain the 20,000 euros, he killed his compatriot, dismembered the corpse and tossed the pieces into the Chao Phraya River.

Segarra fled to Cambodia and was captured Feb. 7 of that year in Sihanoukville.