Papke, from Altdöbern, Germany, was arrested for the murder Ms Pischa, 35, on July 11 last year after her body was found dumped in the jungle in Wichit two days earlier.
Ms Pischa’s body was found wrapped in blankets and bound with sticking tape beside the road about 600 metres along the newly graded track leading into the jungle north of the cement factory on Muang Chaofa Rd. (See story here.)
She had been reported as missing on July 1.
The charge was read to Papke as he lay at Vachira Phuket Hospital recovering from an attempt to slash his own throat with a box cutter as police moved in to arrest him at his rented home in Soi Saiyuan, Rawai, at 7pm on July 9. (See story here.)
Piravut Bumrung of Phuket Provincial Prosecutor’s Office, and who was prosecutor for the case, confirmed to The Phuket News yesterday (Sept 14) that the sentence handed down totalled “16 years and 16 months” in prison.
“The decision by the judge to sentence (Papke to) 16 years and 16 months in prison was for murder, theft and drugs,” Mr Piravut said.
Mr Piravut declined to confirm exactly what charges were finally pressed against Papke in court, saying that he “could not reveal the details” of the trial.
However, he did add, “But Mr Nico confessed to all charges, so his sentence was halved (on all charges”.
Pressed for more information, Mr Privaut only responded: “I can’t explain more because it is ‘judge information’ (sic). You need to look up the judgment at the court.”
A clerk at Phuket Provincial Court who was willing to answer queries, but unwilling to be named, confirmed to The Phuket News that the trial concluded on June 27 this year, lasting only two months since it began on April 30.
At that time police confirmed that in addition to the murder charge, Papke was facing an additional charge involving a Category 1 narcotic. (See story here.)
Under the Narcotics Act, Category 1 drugs include heroin; amphetamine; methamphetamine; MDMA (Ecstasy) and LSD.
However, no officers or prosecutors The Phuket News has interviewed regarding the Papke case has ever revealed exactly which drug Papke was allegedly found with, how much f the drug he was found in possession of, or when and where it was found.
The Phuket News also notes that a separate charge of Papke concealing Ms Pischa’s body seems to have disappeared while bringing Papke to justice.
Chalong Police Deputy Superintendent Lt Col Somsak Sopakarn, the senior officer overseeing the police investigation into the murder, told The Phuket News in March, “We have enough evidence to prove that Papke murdered Ms Pischa and that he also attempted to conceal her body.” (See story here.)
Meanwhile, the charge for theft of Ms Pischa’s ATM card remains previously unreported with no one involved in the case willing to report any details on its sudden inclusion in the trial.
Papke, who appeared sullen when interviewed by The Phuket News at Vachira Phuket Hospital last year, said that he and Ms Pischa had been in an “unstable relationship” for “about 3-4 months” and that they had a heated dispute on the night that Ms Pischa disappeared.
“Lek borrowed B20,000 from me and said that it had something to do with a car. However, she then told me that she no longer had feelings for me and that she missed her Israeli ex-boyfriend,” Papke said. (See story here.)
Regardless, the court official to The Phuket News spoke to did confirm the sentence and trial dates for the case, and that Papke is serving his sentence at Phuket Provincial Prison.
In attempt to gain more information about the case, The Phuket News contacted Lt Chanat Hongsittichaikul, who was the Chalong Police officer actually leading the murder investigation last year.
However, Lt Chanat has since been transferred to Patong Police Station.
“I can’t remember details of this case because of it was many months ago. The case was sent to Phuket Provincial Prosecutor already. All I do remember is that Mr Nico (sic) admitted to all charges.”