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Premchai jailed for 16 months, not guilty of black leopard charge

KANCHANABURI: Construction billionaire Premchai Karnasuta was sentenced to 16 months in jail for illegal possession of a dead pheasant and weapons, and supporting poaching – but he was acquitted of any wrongdoing connected with a black leopard carcass found at the scene, which was blamed on other defendants.

animalscrimeenvironmentnatural-resourcespolice
By Bangkok Post

Tuesday 19 March 2019, 01:25PM


Construction tycoon Premchai Karnasuta, centre, arrives at the Thong Pha Phum court in Kanchanaburi province on Tuesday morning (Mar 19).

Construction tycoon Premchai Karnasuta, centre, arrives at the Thong Pha Phum court in Kanchanaburi province on Tuesday morning (Mar 19).

The Thong Pha Phum Court gave the ruling this morning (Mar 19) in the high-profile case which saw the construction tycoon widely blamed for the killing of a rare black leopard after his group was arrested with the carcasses of protected animals at their unauthorised campsite in the western Thungyai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary in Thong Pha Phum district in February 2018.

The 16-month sentence included six months for illegally carrying weapons, eight months for supporting poaching and two months for possession of a dead kalij pheasant. Premchai was one of four defendants, and the other three took the rap for possessing the black leopard carcass.

Yong Dodkruea was sentenced to 13 months in jail: three months for illegal firearm possession, six months for illegally carrying firearms, and four months for possessing the black leopard carcass. He was acquitted on the charge of illegally collecting forest products.

Nathee Riamsaen was sentenced to four months in jail and fined B10,000 for illegally possessing the black leopard carcass, but the jail term was suspended for two years. She was acquitted of illegally possessing and carrying firearms.

Thanee Thummat was sentenced to two years and 17 months in jail: three months for illegal firearm possession, four months for having the leopard carcass, six months for illegally carrying firearms, four months for attempted poaching, one year for poaching and one year for collecting forest products. He was found guilty of all charges.

The court also ordered Premchai and Thanee to pay B2 million in compensation related to the case to the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation.

After the ruling, Premchai told reporters that he apologised.

The court later released him and Yong on bail of B400,000 baht, and Thanee on B500,000, and prohibited them from leaving the country without permission.

Laguna Golf Phuket

Their lawyers said they would appeal.

The four defendants arrived at Thong Pha Phum court on Tuesday morning for the ruling.

Premchai, 64, director of Italian-Thai Development Plc, Yong, 66, Nathee, 44, and Thanee, 57, and their lawyers arrived at the court in Thong Pha Phum district at 8.10am in two vehicles.

Public prosecutors and Wichian Chinnawong, chief of the western Thungyai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary who had arrested Mr Premchai’s group early last year, arrived at 9am.

Premchai and the three co-defendants were arrested at their unauthorised camp in the wildlife sanctuary on Feb 4 last year in possession of firearms and the carcasses of protected animals, including a rare black leopard. They denied all the charges.

 

Read original story here.

 

 

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Kurt | 21 March 2019 - 12:38:13

Every thai has the right to appeal. Right.  Has every thai  the financial means to appeal with a good lawyer aside? I think about the thai with 315 thb salary  a day, living in a shack.

Island Man | 21 March 2019 - 09:01:40

Mr. Premchai should also be made to attend training in conservation and perform public service relating to his crime. Also, he should use his time in prison to loose some frickin' weight!

Fascinated | 20 March 2019 - 23:07:50

Would this be the 'poor old Thai couple' who were NOT in fact picking mushrooms but involved in the destruction and sale of over 700 trees .... You may want to conduct a bit more research in future.
and ...- you do realise that EVERYONE has the right of appeal under Thai law don't you? Sometimes saying less is more.

Pauly44 | 20 March 2019 - 18:28:42

Yep, dog & pony show for Thai elite, consider it more of a business deal for those uneducated in the Thai system, yet there are morons here (...) for one that actually believe justice will or has been delivered, just as much as they believe Thailand actually wants them here in the first place, wow, now that really is egg on your face!

Rorri_2 | 20 March 2019 - 10:52:57

"""How long is the old poor Thai couple.." Try to google it" misquoting, again, for self gratification.. I believe the comment was rhetorical, but then you do have the need to criticize, but not to actually add anything of substance.. woof woof. Many readers know who should be on a "chain."

Rorri_2 | 20 March 2019 - 06:32:06

"The court later released him and Yong on bail of B400,000 baht, and Thanee on B500,000, and prohibited them from leaving the country without permission.
Their lawyers said they would appeal," nothing else really needs to be said.

SueYu2 | 19 March 2019 - 21:18:33

Premchai's been released on bail. Does this mean he has a suspended sentence or that his appeal will delay/reverse the sentence? I'm not confident at all that this guy will ever go to jail where he belongs.

Kurt | 19 March 2019 - 19:01:45

So, just the 1000 dollar question, who did kill the black leopard? Don't tell me that one of the richest thai men in Thailand, prepared for hunting with his staff was just eating from a carcass they found in the national park.  Screen the judge and his back round, now, and next year.

DeKaaskopp | 19 March 2019 - 17:11:11

"How long is the old poor Thai couple.." Try to google it or sent a petition and ask for a "Royal pardon" if you are so concerned.Probably my comment will awake your personal chain-dog again.BTW,your first assuming in this case were that he would get a 500 b fine and a slap on the wrist and everyone would "wai"saying sorry for the misunderstanding.Better stop speculat...

Kurt | 19 March 2019 - 16:26:54

For how long is the old poor Thai couple in jail for plucking mushrooms in a national park??
How is their health?
Now we wait and see or Premchai is really going 1 single night staying in jail. Guess soon is a battery of doctors making a drama about the health of Premchai. The health suffering man has also a mental decease what has to be checked out., can't survive jail, etc, etc, etc. '...

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