The ruling was read out at Thong Pha Phum District Court this morning, reports the Bangkok Post.
Premchai, 66-year-old president of Italian-Thai Development Plc, arrived at the court with a walking cane and a bandage over his left eye. The two other defendants in the case were also present at the court.
His former driver Yong Dodkruea, 68, was sentenced to two years and nine months in prison and his hunter Thanee Thummat, 59, to three years and one month.
The court reduced the lower court’s jail terms by eight months because the Wild Animal Preservation and Protection Act was amended two years ago to exclude punishment for concealment of wildlife carcasses.
The Supreme Court upheld the Appeal Court’s order that they pay B2 million in compensation for damage to nature resulting from their illegal hunting.
The defendants were ordered to be fitted with electronic tags while waiting to be taken Thong Pha Phum prison. They were also tested for COVID-19.
The three defendants, along with a woman cook, were arrested at their camp in Thungyai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary in tambon Chalae of Thong Pha Phum district on Feb 4, 2018, for hunting of wildlife, including killing a rare black panther, a kalij pheasant and a barking deer. They also faced other related charges.
In December 2019, the Appeal Court sentenced Premchai to three years and two months in prison, Yong to three years and five months and Thanee to three years and nine months.
They appealed to the Supreme Court.
Nathee Riemsaen, the 46-year-old cook, was given a suspended prison term of one year and eight months. She did not appeal the sentence.
NB: Please note that this story was updated after it was discovered the Office of the Attorney General had released inaccurate information regarding the sentences to the three men. The updated report can be read here.