Bail granted to deputy minister on Khao Yai encroachment case

Bail granted to deputy minister on Khao Yai encroachment case

Deputy Education Minister Kanokwan Vilawan announces the opening of the Olympics academic camp for students from southernmost provinces at the Education Ministry on May 6, 2022. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
Deputy Education Minister Kanokwan Vilawan announces the opening of the Olympics academic camp for students from southernmost provinces at the Education Ministry on May 6, 2022. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

The Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases approved a bail request for Deputy Minister of Education Kanokwan Vilawan after public prosecutors submitted her case to the court on Friday.

The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) took Ms Kanokwan to the court's Region 2 office in Muang district of Rayong province after she reported to the office on Friday to hear charges of alleged illegal occupation of land in Khao Yai National Park.

The court agreed to grant her bail with no conditions after she had deposited 300,000 baht in cash and land title deeds as surety, Thai News Agency reported.

The OAG decided to indict her and nine other people, including her father Soonthorn, on Tuesday after the National Anti-Corruption Commission had found sufficient evidence to take legal action against them on issuing and using three false land title deeds to control three plots of land in the park in Prachin Buri, her home province. Two of the three plots encompass 54 rai of land inside Khao Yai.

The court will summon her for questioning on Aug 5.

The status of the nine other accused was unclear.

Ms Kanokwan is a deputy secretary-general of the coalition Bhumjaithai Party. Her father is the head of the Prachin Buri Provincial Administration Organisation. Both were former MPs in the central province.

The deputy minister, her husband and their close aide Nui Toomphan illegally seized the plots of land since 2002, with assistance from seven others.

The case was known after soldiers of the Internal Security Operations Command seized three backhoes working in the areas in 2020 and later found out that the plots of land were located in the park.


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