Tycoon gets appeal in panther case

Tycoon gets appeal in panther case

Premchai Karnasuta, centre (Bangkok Post file photo)
Premchai Karnasuta, centre (Bangkok Post file photo)

Judges with dissenting opinions in a high-profile poaching case have approved requests by key accused, construction tycoon Premchai Karnasuta and two others to lodge an appeal on factual issues in the case with the Supreme Court, a source in the Courts of Justice said.

Mr Premchai, the president of Italian-Thai Development Plc, was arrested along with three other people on Feb 4, 2018 at an unauthorised camp in Thungyai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary in Thong Pha Phum district.

Authorities raided the camp and found firearms, ammunition and the carcasses of a rare black panther, a kalij pheasant and a barking deer. The suspects were charged with illegal possession of wildlife carcasses and other poaching-related offences, which earned Mr Premchai a 16-month jail sentence last year.

Last month, Mr Premchai, his driver Yong Dodkruea, and his aide Thanee Thummat asked judges in the court of first instance and the appeal court to endorse their requests to file an appeal on the facts with the Supreme Court.

The next step will be for the Thong Pha Phum Court in Kanchanaburi to forward their appeal request to the prosecution to prepare a counter-appeal.

In December last year, Court of Appeal Region 7 increased Mr Premchai's jail term to three years and two months, while his driver's sentence was raised to three years and five months and Mr Thanee's to three years and nine months.

Following the Appeal Court's ruling, they were freed after posting one-million-baht bail, pending an appeal to the Supreme Court.

They were granted bail on condition they wore an EM ankle bracelet and did not travel abroad.


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