Appeal Court upholds Premchai's bribery term

Appeal Court upholds Premchai's bribery term

Premchai: Still free on bail
Premchai: Still free on bail

The Appeal Court yesterday upheld construction tycoon Premchai Karnasuta's one-year jail term for trying to bribe park rangers following his arrest in a wildlife sanctuary in February 2018.

The original sentence was handed down by the Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases Region 7 in Samut Songkhram in June last year. The sentence was not suspended.

Mr Premchai was released on bail of 500,000 baht pending a new appeal with the Supreme Court.

Before the ruling yesterday, Mr Premchai had been on bail of 200,000 baht.

At the start of the case, public prosecutors had charged Mr Premchai, 66, president of Italian-Thai Development Plc, and his driver Yong Dodkruea, 68, who was later acquitted by the lower court.

The charge followed the arrest of Mr Premchai, Mr Yong and two others at a camp in the Thungyai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary in tambon Chalae of Thong Pha Phum district in Kanchanaburi, on Feb 4, 2018.

The lower court based its ruling on witness testimony which asserted that Mr Premchai told park rangers he would give them "whatever they wanted" if he was allowed to go free.

The court ruled that the one-year sentence would be added to a 16-month jail term handed down by a Kanchanaburi court in March last year for wildlife crimes.

Mr Premchai was found guilty by the provincial court for crimes connected with poaching activities in the Thungyai Naresuan sanctuary.

In that case, Mr Premchai was found guilty of the illegal possession of a dead pheasant and weapons, as well as supporting poaching activities. He was acquitted of any wrongdoing connected with a black leopard's carcass found at the camp.

Its killing was blamed on the three other defendants.

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