OAG set to rule on ITD tycoon raps
The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) will decide on Monday whether to indict construction tycoon Premchai Karnasuta on three charges related to wildlife poaching that were dropped earlier at the request of prosecutors.
The charges are: illegal possession of hunting tools; illegal entry into the Thungyai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary, a Unesco World Heritage site in Kanchanaburi province; and attempting to hunt animals in a protected forest.
The prosecutors decided earlier not to indict Mr Premchai on those charges due to a lack of evidence. However, police appealed to the OAG and supplied additional evidence.
The prosecutors have already indicted the construction magnate on six other poaching-related charges.
Mr Premchai can technically be detained until Monday, when a new order would be required to hold him. He is not currently in custody as he was granted bail.
Deputy police chief Pol Gen Srivara Ransibrahmanakul insisted the police have a strong case against Mr Premchai on all three charges.
The president of Italian-Thai Development Plc and his accomplices were arrested on the night of Feb 4 after they were found to possess several dead animals, including a rare black leopard and its pelt. The group is suspected of shooting and eating the leopard.
The Office of Public Prosecution Region 7 decided to lodge six charges against Mr Premchai.
They are carrying firearms in public without permission, colluding to hunt wildlife in a wildlife sanctuary without permission, hunting protected wildlife without permission, possessing protected wildlife carcasses without permission, concealing wildlife carcasses obtained illegally, and collecting wildlife items in a national forest reserve without permission.
The OAG's Department of Economic Crime Litigation earlier this month indicted Mr Premchai, his wife Kanita, and a woman going by the name Wandee Somphum for illegally bringing four African tusks into the country.
They are scheduled to give testimony on May 7.
Pol Gen Srivara said prosecutors also indicted Mr Premchai for illegally possessing weapons.