|Rashid Grasanov at his arrest in 2010|
Pattaya Provincial Court dismissed charges of contract murder against a Russian expat 'hitman' this week after a long trial.
Rashid Grasanov, pictured at his arrest above, has been accused of being a vicious Russian mafia enforcer and hitman, and having kidnapped, tortured and then murdered Pattaya real estate investor, Viktor Grishin, on October 14th 2010.
Grasanov and his co accused had been facing a potential sentence of death by lethal injection if convicted on the murder charges.
Grasanov had been arrested in possession of a stolen ATM card belonging to the murder victim, however denied any involvement in the killing.
Grasanov was accused jointly with another Russian, Dmitri Kochenko, but the Court dismissed the murder charges against both men, finding only that they had withdrawn money from the deceased man's ATM card and had been involved in the disposal of the body. The Court found there was only evidence of minor electronic card offences.
|Forensic officers recover the remains of Viktor Grishin near Silverlake.|
Grasanov maintained that he had been given the ATM cards by another Russian, and was not able to say why a vehicle rented by Kochenko had allegedly been seen at the scene.
Investigators had previously arrested a third Russian, Sergei Alexandrov, but no charges were filed against him.
|Police Press Conference in Pattaya, October 2014.|
Grasanov was represented by lawyer Sanya Namnaphon, a partner in Alba Laws LLP, and the case was funded by the firm on a pro bono basis.
Grasanov said today ' I cannot thank Mr. Sanya Namnaphon and Mr. Brian Goudie enough for their work over the last four years that has resulted in this not guilty verdict. I have finally proven my innocence. They did my case without payment and I literally owe them my life'.
Grasanov remains in custody at Pattaya Special Remand Prison pending a bail application for his provisional release on the minor charges being filed. It is expected that Grasanov will have no difficulty being granted bail as he has already been in custody for more than 4 years and could be free as early as later this week.