A British man wanted on suspicion of murdering a former U.S. Marine has arrived in the resort town of Phuket for trial in what Thai police said Sunday is the first-ever case of extradition of a criminal suspect from Britain to Thailand.
Police Col. Sinard Ajhanwong, commander of Thai Interpol Region 3, said that Britain had formerly declined to send suspects back under a 1911 extradition treaty. Lee Aldhouse, now 29, was arrested when he arrived at Heathrow Airport in London after fleeing Thailand in 2010.
Aldhouse is accused of the stabbing death of Dashawn Longfellow, who was vacationing in Thailand. Police in Thailand said Aldhouse allegedly killed Longfellow, then 23, on Aug. 14, 2010, after being beaten by the ex-Marine during an earlier brawl at a Phuket bar.
Aldhouse was a semi-professional kickboxer who had been living for several years in Phuket, while Longfellow was also studying the sport.
Aldhouse's appeal against extradition had been rejected by Britain's High Court.
"The Thai authorities had fought for his extradition for two years and this is the first time in 101 years that the U.K. approved a request," said Col. Sinard, referring to a 1911 extradition treaty.
"Prior to this case, they had declined to send suspects back, even when they were not British citizens. This time, however, they extradited a British national to us, so that emphasizes the significance of this case," he said.
Thai legal officials accompanied Aldhouse from Britain.
Sinard said Aldhouse appeared very nervous about his rights being honored under the Thai legal system, "but our prosecutors assured him that he will treated according to international standards of justice."
He said Aldhouse will be questioned by investigators before police hand his case to prosecutors.