The Appeals Court has rejected the request of Itallian-Thai Development Pcl chief executive officer Premchai Karnasuta to have the panther hunting case transferred from Thong Phaphum provincial court to the Region 7 Corruption Court.
The ruling of the president of the Appeals Court was read by a sitting judge of Thong Phaphum provincial court in the presence of Premchai and three co-defendants, namely Yong Dodkrua, Mrs Nathee Liamsan and Thanee Tummart, Thong Phaphum prosecutor Panomrith Homnitsakul and Somjate Amnuaysawat, special prosecutor for criminal cases of Region 7.
Somjate said Premchai and the three co-defendants could not ask for transfer of the case again.
Critics earlier said the request to have the case transferred was a delaying tactic to buy time.
He added that the prosecutor in charge of the case was in the process of examining evidences presented by both the prosecutor and the defendants after which hearings of the case would be scheduled.
Premchai and three co-defendants are facing six charges which include illegally carring firearms in public without a permit; illegal hunting in wildlife sanctuary; illegal hunting of protected species; illegal possession of carcass of protected species; concealing wildlife carcass which was illegally acqauired and illegal collection of forest products in a wildlife sanctuary.
The illegal hunting case dated back to February 4 when forest rangers of Thungyai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary in the western province of Kanchanaburi searched the hunting camp of Premchai and his associates and found the carcass of a panther as well as several firearms.