Police in Kanchanaburi had ordered him to show up on Thursday, Feb 22, to acknowledge the additional charge of cruelty to animals. It was the second summons for the charge. The first meeting he was summonsed to was for Feb 15. He did not appear.
Maj Gen Krisana Sapdej, deputy commissioner of Provincial Police Region 7 who is leading the investigation, said Premchai’s lawyer told police today that his client and the three other suspects were too busy and wanted to delay the meeting to March 5.
Police would seek warrants for their arrest if they failed to report to police then, the deputy commissioner said.
Kanchanaburi police earlier pressed nine charges relating to hunting in a wildlife sanctuary against Premchai, 63, president of Italian-Thai Development Plc, and three other members of his party. They have all denied the charges.
They were arrested on Feb 4 in a no-camping zone in the western part of the Thungyai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary, a world heritage site in Kanchanaburi, after they were found in possession of the carcasses of nine protected wild animals.
These included an endangered black Indochinese leopard, its pelt riddled with bullet holes, a Kalij pheasant and a barking deer. They also had three long-barrelled guns and ammunition.
The four suspects were released by the court on Feb 6 after they posted bail of B150,000 each. They are due to appear in court again on March 26.
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