A file photo of Nawat Tohcharoensuk

BANGKOK — A politician sentenced to death on Tuesday for engineering the murder of a civil servant will continue serving as an MP for the opposition, his party said. 

Despite the fresh conviction handed down by a court in Khon Kaen province this morning, Nawat Tohcharoensuk, 52, will not lose his lawmaker status because he is appealing the verdict, said Pheu Thai Party’s deputy leader Chusak Sirinil. 

“The case is not considered final yet,” Chusak said. 

Prosecutors said Nawat hired two police officers to gun down Suchart Khotethum, an administrative official in Khon Kaen, in front of his home in 2013. Investigators cited romance-related vendetta as the motive.

The court said various evidence implicated Nawat in the crime, and subsequently sentenced him to death for murder. The men he allegedly hired as gunmen were convicted in 2017.

Chusak said Nawat, who represents Khon Kaen province, has appealed the ruling and is seeking bail. 

Nawat has also been accused of ordering his henchmen to beat up a fellow Pheu Thai member in a party office earlier this week after a heated argument broke out between the pair.