Premchai released on B1m bail

Premchai released on B1m bail

Key suspect in wildlife poaching case walks free on ankle monitor condition

Premchai Karnasuta is seen wearing an ankle monitor as he is released from the Thong Pha Phum prison in Kanchanaburi province on Friday evening. (Photo supplied by Piyarat Chongchaoren)
Premchai Karnasuta is seen wearing an ankle monitor as he is released from the Thong Pha Phum prison in Kanchanaburi province on Friday evening. (Photo supplied by Piyarat Chongchaoren)

KANCHANABURI: The Supreme Court has granted bail for the temporary release of Premchai Karnasuta and two others after they spent a night in jail in a wildlife poaching case.

The Appeal Court on Thursday handed down a more-than-doubled jail term of three years and two months on an owner and managing director of SET-listed construction giant Italian-Thai Development Plc. The Thong Pha Phum court in March this year sentenced him to 16 months. 

The two other co-defendants in his employ — Yong Dodkruea and Thani Toommat — were also given longer jail terms.

After the ruling, they sought bail on the same day. However, the Supreme Court did not reach a decision and they had to spend the night in the Thong Pha Phum prison.

On Friday, the Supreme Court approved their requests 25 minutes before official hours ended. It raised their bail sureties to 1 million baht each from 600,000 baht set by the lower court. The court also required them to wear electronic ankle monitors and prohibited them from going abroad without approval.

The installation of the bracelets took three hours as officials wanted to make sure the signals worked properly.

They were then taken back to the Thong Pha Phum prison for fingerprinting before being released at 7pm on Friday.  

According to witnesses, Mr Premchai, 64, appeared exhausted. He had to be helped by officials out of his detention cell at the court to hear the ruling and walked with a cane.

Vitoon Yaemprai, his lawyer, said the court told his client to report himself on Jan 13 next year.

He also said no appeal had been filed yet and no date had been set.

Mr Premchai and three people he employed were on trial for illegal possession of wildlife carcasses, carrying firearms in public and for wildlife poaching in the western Thungyai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary in Thong Pha Phum district that took place in early February last year.


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