Pareena hit with land charges
Palang Pracharath Party MP Pareena Kraikupt has denied all charges of encroaching on public forest reserve in Ratchaburi as her lawyer warned against previous apologetic press interviews being used against her.
Ms Pareena, a first-time MP, and her lawyer, on Tuesday went to the Natural Resources and Environment Crime Division to hear the charges levied against her.
The ministry pressed four charges against the MP for encroaching on 711 rai of forest reserve.
Ms Pareena was reported to have denied all charges and later told the media that "I have nothing to worry about".
Her lawyer, Thotsaphon Phengsom, argued that it was unfair for the police to use Ms Pareena's previous interviews with the media about the case as evidence to support the charges.
"What Ms Pareena told the media about what she said might not be totally factual. The police had better base their investigation on more solid evidence such as official records by state agencies concerned," Mr Thotsaphon told media.
The lawyer said that their team is preparing documents, totalling more than 100 pages, to counter the allegations and prove that the Kraikupt family has been occupying that area since before Ms Pareena was born.
Ms Pareena has been embroiled in controversy since last year when Ruangkrai Leekitwattana, a former member of the dissolved Thai Raksa Chart Party, alleged that 711 rai of her 1,700 rai poultry farm in Ratchaburi's Chom Bung district was situated in an area protected under the Forest Reserve Act.
If found guilty of encroaching on the land, she could face a jail term.