Tiger export charge against Plodprasop | Bangkok Post: learning

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Tiger export charge against Plodprasop

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The Criminal Court on Wednesday accepted a case against Deputy Prime Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi which accuses him of illegally approving the shipment of 100 Bengal tigers to China in 2002. 

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Deputy Prime Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi enters the Criminal Court yesterday to hear the case against him. SURAPOL PROMSAKA NA SAKOLNAKORN


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Court to try Plodprasop in tiger export case

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The Criminal Court on Wednesday accepted a case against Deputy Prime Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi which accuses him of illegally approving the shipment of 100 Bengal tigers to China in 2002.

Mr Plodprasop was chief of the Royal Forest Department at the time. The court set April 22 next year for the first hearing.

Mr Plodprasop is facing a malfeasance charge brought by prosecutors on behalf of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC).

Prosecutors say he approved the request to send the tigers abroad without considering whether such a move would violate the law.

In 2002 Manop Lauprasert – head of the Thailand Office of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites Thailand) – was asked by Si Racha Tiger Zoo company for a licence to send its tigers to Sunya Zoo in China's southern province of Hainan for feeding and breeding during October and December that year.

According to prosecutors, Deputy Prime Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi authorised the export of 200 tigers from the Si Racha Zoo to China in a strictly commercial venture. (File Photo)

Mr Manop forwarded the request to Mr Plodprasop, who approved it. However, prosecutors say the request "was made for commercial purposes", and so was not in line with the law.

The Thai Wildlife Protection Act only allows for exports of protected wild species under government agreements for research and conservation purposes.

The NACC found in 2007 that the shipment of the 100 tigers was for commercial purposes as Si Racha Tiger Zoo and Sunya Zoo are private entities.

As a result, the NACC found Mr Plodprasop guilty of malfeasance, while Mr Manop was also implicated in wrongdoing.

Mr Plodprasop has insisted he did nothing wrong. In his earlier response to the NACC's resolution, he said the tigers were not from the wild and not native to Thailand, and that Si Racha Tiger Zoo had imported the tigers and raised and bred them for 10 years before delivering them to China. The Chinese embassy suggested importing the tigers in 2001.

Asked to respond yesterday, Mr Plodprasop said: "I am glad this moment has come because I will prove my innocence before the court."

He was released on 200,000 baht bail.

deputy – a person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation รอง
Criminal Court – a court which hears criminal cases, i.e., cases where people are accused of breaking a law and where punishment involves going to jail. ศาลอาญา
illegally – in a way that is against the law อย่างผิดกฎหมาย
approve – to give official permission อนุมัต
malfeasance – illegal actions, especially by a person in authority การใช้อำนาจไปในทางที่ผิด
charge – an official statement accusing someone of committing a crime ข้อกล่าวหา
prosecutor – a lawyer whose job is to prove in court that someone accused of a crime is guilty อัยการ
on behalf of – as a representative of ในนามของ ในฐานะของ
violate – to do something that is against a law, rule or agreement ฝ่าฝืน, ละเมิด
National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) – An independent government organisation to investigate corruption carried out by government officials ปปช. (สำนักคณะกรรมการป้องกันและปราบปรามการทุจริตแห่งชาติ)
convention – an official agreement between countries or leaders สนธิสัญญ, ข้อตกลง
endangered species – a type of animal or plant that may soon become extinct (=disappear from the world) สัตว์ป่าหรือสิ่งมีชีวิตที่ใกล้จะสูญพันธุ์
fauna – all the animals living in an area  สัตว์ประจำเขตภูมิภาคหนึ่ง
flora – the plants of a particular area, type of environment or period of time พืชที่ขึ้นในเฉพาะพื้นที่
licence – an official document that gives someone permission to do or use something ใบอนุญาต
breeding – the producing of young animals, plants, etc  การผสมพันธุ์สัตว์เพื่อขยายพันธุ์
authorise –  to give official permission for something, or to give someone official permission to do something ให้อำนาจ, มอบอำนาจ, ให้สิทธิ
strictly – in a very limited way; only เพียงแค่, อย่างแท้จริง
commercial – for business purposes เกี่ยวกับการค้า
venture – a new activity, usually in business, which involves risk or uncertainty ธุริกิจเสี่ยงแต่สามารถทำกำไรได้
forward – to send onwards  ส่งต่อ
in line with – following a rule or system; also in accordance with and consistent with สอดคล้องกับ
Act – a law passed by a country’s government พ.ร.บ. พระราชบัญญัติ
research – a careful study of a subject, especially in order to discover new facts or information about it การวิจัย
conservation – the protection of plants and animals, natural areas, and interesting and important structures and buildings, especially from the damaging effects of human activity การอนุรักษ์ธรรมชาติ, การป้องกันความสูญเสีย, การสงวนไว้
private – owned by a particular person or group ของส่วนบุคคล,  ของเอกชน
entity – something which exists apart from other things, having its own independent existence
guilty – proven to have committed a crime มีความผิด
implicate – to show or suggest that someone is involved in something illegal or morally wrong   โยงใยถึง, เกี่ยวพันกับ
insist – to keep saying very firmly that something is true ยืนกราน ยืนยัน
resolution – an official decision that is made after a group or organisation have voted มติ
native – existing naturally in a place ตามธรรมชาติ
embassy – a group of officials who represent their government in a foreign country สถานทูต
prove – to use facts, evidence, etc. to show that something is true พิสูจน์
innocence – the condition of not having done anything wrong or illegal ความบริสุทธิ์
release – to allow someone or something to go free ปล่อย
bail – money that is given to a court when someone is allowed to stay out of prison until their trial. If they do not return for the trial, the court keeps the money  เงินประกัน; การประกันตัว

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