The wife of jailed tycoon Premchai Karnasuta on Wednesday submitted a letter to Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin seeking her husband's transfer for medical treatment to a hospital outside Thong Pha Phum Prison in Kanchanaburi province, where he is being held.
Premchai, 66, former president of Italian-Thai Development Plc, was sentenced by the Supreme Court on Dec 8 to a prison term of three years and two months for hunting in Thungyai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary nearly four years ago.
He is serving his sentence in Thong Pha Phum Prison.
Mrs Kanita's request was supported by a letter from a doctor certifying that Premchai has multiple illnesses requiring close medical attention.
She said her husband had diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, and recently had an eye operation.
Premchai's diabetes was the most worrying, she said. One of his feet had lost all sensitivity and some flesh had been removed. The wound would take six or seven months to heal and she feared it could become infected, Mrs Kanita said.
Mrs Kanita said she also worried her husband could be infected with Covid-19 in prison, his system weakened by his underlying illnesses. She was afraid the prison would not have the needed medical equipment and her husband's life could be in peril.
"I and my son have submitted a request [for Premchai's transfer] to the Corrections Department four times, but there has been no response. Today, I brought a doctor's letter to certify to his illnesses," Mrs Kanita said.
Mr Somsak, after receiving Mrs Kanita's letter, said every step taken must be in compliance with official regulations. Making a decision in someone's favour could draw public criticism that some people received privileged treatment.
The minister said he believed the Corrections Department's treatment of patients met the required standards.
He had assigned Sahakarn Phetnarin, a deputy permanent secretary for justice, to take Mrs Kanita's request for consideration and take appropriate action in accordance with the law and departmental regulations, Mr Somsak said.
Mr Sahakarn said that under the regulations, patients being treated in a prison facility could be transferred to selected hospitals in the same province for treatment, as considered necessary.
Kanita, wife of Premchai Karnasutra, former president of Italian-Thai Development Plc, at the Justice Ministry on Wednesday. She submitted a letter to Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin seeking the transfer of Premchai to a hospital outside Thong Pha Phum Prison in Kanchanaburi. (Photo supplied)