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Prosecution panel prepares Premchai’s poaching case

Prosecution panel prepares Premchai’s poaching case

BANGKOK: A four-member prosecution panel appointed to examine the 857-page report of a full police investigation into the Premchai Karnasuta wildlife poaching case formally began working on it yesterday (Mar 19).

crimecorruptionconstructionpoliceanimals
By Bangkok Post

Tuesday 20 March 2018, 08:58AM


Prosecutors have begun building the legal case against Italian-Thai Development chief Premchai Karnasuta and three companions, facing police charges on nine counts including killing a rare black leopard. Photo: Bangkok Post / file

Prosecutors have begun building the legal case against Italian-Thai Development chief Premchai Karnasuta and three companions, facing police charges on nine counts including killing a rare black leopard. Photo: Bangkok Post / file

Somchet Amnuay-sawat, a public prosecutor attached to the Region 7 office of the Office of the Attorney-General, is heading the team of prosecutors handling the case.

He said the team does not feel under pressure despite all the media attention the case has attracted.

“We’ll stick to the facts provided in the investigation report by the police and base our decision on the available evidence and witness statements,” he said.

“Public concerns don’t factor into our decision-making.”

The team was assigned to study the report before discussing it in detail yesterday, he added.

In the case involving construction tycoon Premchai and three other suspects, who are suspected of shooting and eating a rare leopard, prosecutors are deciding whether any parts of the report are incomplete and could pose a problem to their case, Mr Somchet said.

Premchai, the president of Italian-Thai Development Plc, was arrested with three camping buddies at a no-camping zone in the Thungyai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary in Kanchanaburi on Feb 4 on suspicion of engaging in illegal hunting.

The other suspects are Yong Dotkhreau, Nathi Riamsaen and Thani Thummat.

All four have been charged on nine counts including poaching, entering a wildlife sanctuary without permission, illegally collecting wildlife, and possessing weapons without a permit.

The Thong Pha Phum district police investigators conducted a probe into the case earlier and submitted their report to the regional prosecution office on March 13. It reportedly includes statements by 45 witnesses.

In another development, Kanita Ui-thawon, head of the wildlife forensic science unit of the National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, said the results of a final batch of DNA tests on bloodstains found on leaves collected from the camp site had come in.

They showed the blood on the leaves belonged to the same black Indochinese leopard whose pelt was found with the four suspects when they were detained.

The DNA test results will be forwarded to Gen Srivara Ransibrahmanakul, the deputy national police chief. They are expected to be used to support other DNA results based on samples collected from knives.

Read original story here.

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