Dept strikes down killer's parole plea

Dept strikes down killer's parole plea

Polkrit 'remorseless', a risk to victim's kin

Patcharee Punthong submits a petition to the Justice Ministry on Wednesday calling for justice after learning that the man sentenced to 33 years and 11 months in prison for her daughter’s death is eligible to be released on parole this year after spending just four and a half years behind bars. (Justice Ministry photo)
Patcharee Punthong submits a petition to the Justice Ministry on Wednesday calling for justice after learning that the man sentenced to 33 years and 11 months in prison for her daughter’s death is eligible to be released on parole this year after spending just four and a half years behind bars. (Justice Ministry photo)

The Department of Corrections on Thursday confirmed that it has not granted parole to Polkrit Wiset, a former army sergeant who is serving a 33-year sentence for the murder of Ploypailin Palipol, saying the killer has not shown any remorse for his actions.

Narong Juisuey, department deputy director-general, said while all inmates have the right to apply for parole, it is ultimately up to the department to decide whether or not to approve the request.

"A number of factors are taken into account before [parole applications] are approved," he said.

"Polkrit has shown no remorse for his actions, and he has yet to compensate the victim's relatives."

The inmate was not granted parole because authorities are concerned that he may pose a risk to the safety of the victim's relatives, so he will have to serve his sentence as ordered by the court, Mr Narong said.

The 2014 murder case attracted public attention once again after Ploynarin's mother, Patcharee Punthong, urged the Justice Ministry to review the terms of Polkrit's parole.

She appealed to the ministry after finding out that Polkrit was eligible to apply for parole, despite having only served four years and six months of his 33-year and 11-month sentence for the murder.

Ms Patcharee also called for a probe against the Corrections Department director-general and Bang Kwang Prison chief over several jail term reductions for Polkrit.

She also said she has not received any compensation from Polkrit and expressed concerns about her safety if he was released.

She said she hoped the Justice Ministry would review the case and do her family justice.

In 2017, Polkrit was arrested in Nakhon Ratchasima for the abduction and murder of Ploynarin, three years after she went missing.

She was last seen on CCTV footage on May 21, 2014, in Ayutthaya's Tha Rua district.

Atchariya Ruangrattanapong, head of the Crime Victims Assistance Club, said he suspected irregularities as the inmate received a number of sentence reductions even before the case was finalised.

Polkrit's sentence was reduced to nine years in jail last year, he said.

Vittawan Sunthornkajit, director-general of the Department of Probation, said that officials have taken feedback from Ms Patcharee and concluded that the prisoner should not be granted parole.

The officials have also filed a petition with the Justice Ministry to oppose parole, Mr Vittawan said, adding that they have also advised Ms Patcharee to ask the Ayutthaya justice office for advice on how to proceed with unpaid compensation.

Mr Vittawan further said that prisoners who committed serious crimes will be put on the Justice Ministry's watch list, and they will not be granted parole.

"Any requests [from these inmates] that reach the Justice Safety Observation Ad Hoc Centre will be rejected, he said.

"According to the Department of Probation's criteria, if the relatives of the victims disagree or are unhappy with parole, officials must also oppose the parole request," he said.

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