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Tiger lawyer in plea for fairness in Phuket court case

PHUKET: With police and the public prosecutor getting close to starting the court case against the owners of the Tiger Discotheque, which burned down on August 17, the company's Legal Counsel, Thamrongsak Boonrak, has pleaded for “fairness” in the handling of the case.


Tanyaluk Sakoot

Thursday 29 November 2012, 09:16AM


Four people died in the fire, including two tourists.

“We acted responsibly after the fire by giving support and money to the families of the victims,” he said. On August 24 the Managing Director of the Tiger Group, Piya Isaramalai, handed a million baht each to the families of the two Thai victims.

But it is understood that the families of the two foreign victims, though they also accepted B1 miollion each, said they do not consider this enough compensation.

Mr Thamrongsak said, “Staff of the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) took away the electricity transformer the morning after the fire. I don't understand why they did that.

“After a couple of days, the PEA said the transformer was not the cause of the fire. But I think the police should investigate this more deeply.

“The power was cut before the Tiger Disco was set on fire by a short-circuit. Lighting hit the transformer many times before the power went down all along Bangla Rd. It is impossible that the fire started inside Tiger Disco.”

He also complained about criticism of the structure of the building. “The building was approved every year after the Asian Tsunami [in 2004], by Patong Municipality. If the structure was incorrect, why did they approve it?

“I always follow the rules, but whenever there is a problem, [the authorities] give me a hard time.

“Up to now we have received no money from the insurance company. And without the money we can't do anything [to repair the building].

“The New Year is coming, and we plan to do a shopping centre at the Tiger Disco. I can't stand to look at the place – it looks so bad.

“Patong Municipality has sent us a letter telling us to clean the place up. But every process means we have to spend money. However, we have begun to work on the clean-up.

“Further into the future, this place may become a beer hall.

“Twenty days ago I sent all the evidence we have to all the relevant offices. I hope I will see something more correct and fair from officials.”

No date has yet been set for the start of the trial. Pol Col Chiraphat Pochanaphan, Patong Police Superintendent said, “We still have some more investigation to do in this case.”

Sara Entertainment Co, the operators of Tiger Discotheque, along with Mr Piya, have already been charged with negligence causing death, along with physical and mental injury to other people, and with trading after hours.

The negligence charge carries a maximum penalty in Thai law of 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to B20,000.

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