Premchai denies fresh charges, including bribery

Premchai denies fresh charges, including bribery

Tycoon Premchai Karnasuta during his meeting with police to hear three new charges at the Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Division on Wednesday. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)
Tycoon Premchai Karnasuta during his meeting with police to hear three new charges at the Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Division on Wednesday. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)

Italian-Thai Development president Premchai Karnasuta denied all three new charges leveled against him after being informed of the fresh accusations by police.

"I have denied all three charges today," the businessman told reporters after the meeting with police at the Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Division on Wednesday.

Asked whether he killed the black leopard, the embattled construction tycoon said: "No, I didn't." The truth would be made known in court, he added.

The carcass of the rare female leopard was among those found at his campsite in a no-camping area at the Thungyai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary in Thong Pha Phum district in Kanchanaburi, where he and three companions were arrested by park officials on the night of Feb 4.

Mr Premchai spent about four hours with police who formally pressed charges of illegal possession of firearms and African elephant ivory, and bribing an official.

The two illegal possession cases are being handled by the Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Division, and the bribery allegation by the police Counter Corruption Division.

Police on Tuesday recommended that public prosecutors arraign Mr Premchai and his three companions on nine charges related to poaching.

Deputy police chief Pol Gen Srivara Ransibrabhamnakul confirmed Mr Premchai denied the new counts, but said police had evidence to support the charges.

Mr Premchai left for the Criminal Court, where police would seek to detain him further, after the police meeting was finished.

Police did not object to his seeking bail.

The court later formally approved the first 12-day period of police detention to allow further investigation and allowed Mr Premchai bail with a 300,000 baht bond, on condition he does not leave the country without prior permission. 

Mr Premchai and his co-accused were already on bail of 150,000 baht on the previous charges.



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