Ex-park chief summoned to acknowledge charge of murdering Karen activist
Former Kaeng Krachan National Park chief Chaiwat Limlikhitaksorn and his three former subordinates have been summoned to the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) tomorrow (Wednesday), to acknowledge murder and other charges in connection with the enforced disappearance and presumed death of Karen activist Porlajee Rakchongcharoen, aka “Billy”, in 2014.
The DSI’s move comes after the Office of the Attorney-General formally informed the DSI in mid-August of its decision to indict Chaiwat and colleagues for the alleged murder, illegal detention, concealment of a corpse to cover up a crime and armed coercion, resulting in the forced disappearance and presumed death of Porlajee.
Porlajee has not been heard from since he was held in the custody of Chaiwat and his men for illegally collecting wild honey in the park on April 17th, 2014.
Chaiwat was dismissed from government service in April last year, after he was found guilty of malfeasance in office, by the Office of Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission, in connection with the burning of more than 100 houses in a Karen village in the national park.
The case is still pending with the court.
He subsequently won a reprieve from the Phetchaburi Administrative Court, which ordered a stay of his dismissal. He was later reinstated to government service at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.
Chaiwat reported back to work as a director at the 9th Conservation Area Administration Office for the first day yesterday.
The DSI is expected to indict the four men on September 5th.
Today (Tuesday) marks the International Day of the Disappeared.