11 July 2024

The appeals Court has upheld the guilty verdict, passed in March by the Thong Pha Phum provincial court on Italian-Thai Development Pcl boss Premchai Karnasuta, for illegal poaching of protected wildlife in Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary, but increased the sentence to 2 years and 17 months from the previous 16-month prison term.

Premchai was found guilty on three charges, namely abetting poaching by the other people, illegal possession of a kalif pheasant and carrying firearms in public without a licence.

The court also increased the prison terms for the three other defendants.  Yong Dodkrua was given 2 years and 17 months instead of 13 months, Mrs. Nathee Riamsaen got 1 year and 8 months and a fine of 40,000 baht instead of a 4 month suspended jail term and 10,000 baht in fine and Thanee Thummat got 2 years and 21 months instead of 2 years and 17 months.

All four defendants were ordered to pay two million baht in compensation to the Department of National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation.

The Appeals Court decision was read this morning by the Thong Pha Phum provincial court in the presence of Mr. Premchai, his team of lawyers and three other defendants.

Also present was Mr. Wichien Chinnawong who, as chief of the wildlife sanctuary, made the arrests.  About 25 policemen from Thong Pha Phum police station were deployed to ensure order and security at the court.

Mr. Premchai was smiling as he arrived at the court, walking with the aid of a stick.

On top of that, Premchai was also sentenced to one year in prison, by the Region VII Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases in Samut Songkhram, for trying to bribe rangers when he was arrested.

The four defendants are awaiting for a court decision over their bail applications.

Mr. Premchai Karnasuta