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Thai Murder Suspect Shot Dead

February 28, 1999 GMT

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) _ Gunmen killed a Thai businesswoman suspected of masterminding the death of a prominent media executive, The Nation newspaper reported on Sunday.

Ubol Boonyachalothorn was shot more than 20 times by two gunmen on a motorcycle while she sat in her Mercedes outside the home of her daughter Saturday in Yasothon province, 280 miles northeast of Bangkok.

Police said the motive for the killing was not yet known, the paper reported.

Ubol was charged last year with masterminding the 1996 death of Saengchai Sunthornwat, director of the Mass Communications Organization of Thailand, which operates two television channels, nine radio stations and the Thai News Agency.

Police said Saengchai’s killing stemmed from a business dispute after he canceled several shows created by a production company owned by Ubol.

Ubol’s son-in-law, Thawee Puttachan, was sentenced to death in 1997 in connection with Saengchai’s death, and he remains on death row. The case against Ubol was still being heard in the courts.