June 25, 2004
AN Australian man charged with the acid-induced murder of a Sydney accountant has been found dead in a Thai prison.
Emil Chang, 41, died at Bangkok's Klong Prem prison on June 20, a Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) spokeswoman said today.
A post-mortem examination was under way but it was reported Chang's injuries were self-inflicted.
The results of the post-mortem would be known within a week.
Chang was arrested in Thailand earlier this month and charged with the murder of Dominic Li in January 2003.
Mr Li died after he was
attacked by two men posing as postal couriers carrying a parcel bearing his name, police said at the time.
He was forced at gunpoint to swallow hydrochloric acid, which slowly burnt his oesophagus, blinded him in the left eye and eventually blocked his breathing.
Tipped off by Australian police, Thai authorities arrested Chang on June 10.
Police said then he would be sent back to Sydney within a week.
Chang, a NSW resident, strongly proclaimed his innocence at a Bangkok press conference.
"I'm innocent ... I'm a Buddhist and I don't even drink alcohol," he told reporters.
The DFAT spokeswoman said Chang's wife had been told.