A 61-year-old Australian man has appeared in a preliminary hearing of the Chiang Mai Provincial Court over the shooting death in March of Hawaiian tourist, Gary Bruce Poretsky
William Thomas Douglas, formerly of the Western Australian suburb of Willetton, is charged with the murder of 46-year-old Mr Poretsky at the Keari restaurant on March 23rd.
At the brief preliminary hearing Mr Douglas pleaded guilty to the murder charge, as well as to a charge of carrying a weapon in public, and a charge of possessing an unlicensed firearm.
The court agreed to a request by Provincial Public Prosecutor, Sonthaya Kruewate, for an expedited hearing date, setting the matter set for trial in August. Mr Douglas was remanded in custody until the date of his trial.
Photos John Le Fevre
- American tourist not liked – killed (video)
- Arrest of William Thomas Douglas for the murder of Gary Bruce Poretsky in Chiang Mai (video)
- Perth man remanded over fatal shooting of American tourist
He has spent extensive periods of time working in Africa and throughout Southeast Asia, with stints in the Middle East, the USA, and England.
He has covered major world events including Operation Desert Shield/ Storm, the 1991 pillage in Zaire, the 1994 Rwanda genocide, the 1999 East Timor independence unrest, the 2004 Asian tsunami, and the 2009, 2010, and 2014 Bangkok political protests.
In 1995 he was a Walkley Award finalist, the highest awards in Australian journalism, for his coverage of the 1995 Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) Ebola outbreak.
Most recently he was the Thailand editor/ managing editor of AEC News Today . Prior to that he was the deputy editor and Thailand and Greater Mekong Sub-region editor for The Establishment Post, predecessor of Asean Today.
In the mid-80s and early 90s he owned JLF Promotions, the largest above and below the line marketing and PR firm servicing the high-technology industry in Australia. It was sold in 1995.
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