Premchai denies he killed black panther

Breaking his long silence on the illegal hunting trip in Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary last month, Italian-Thai Development Plc CEO Premchai Karnasuta told the media today (March 14) that he felt sorry for being accused by the society for being a wildlife poacher.

He apologized the media for making them busy with his case and denied he killed the black panther.

Mr Premchai reported to Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Suppression Division today to acknowledge two charges–illegal possession of African tusks and illegal possession of firearms.

The attempted bribery charge is still being investigated by the Counter-Corruption Police Division.

Mr Premchai denied all charges that were pressed against them by the police.

“I believe I am innocent. I am sorry for making you reporters to be tired and I am sorry that the society views me in this light.  I can’t talk much because it concerns the case. But I reiterate my innocence,” said Mr Premchai.

Mr Premchai was escorted by police to the Criminal Court in the afternoon to have his detention extended.

He was eventually released on 300,000 baht bail and banned by the court from leaving the country.

While at the court, a group of protesters rallied outside the court house, with one of them holding a banner which reads “Save Wildlife”.

An unidentified man shouted at Premchai asking:  “Was the panther meat delicious?” The ITD boss however did not respond.

Police inquiry officers said that they needed to extend the detention of Premchai for 12 days until March 25 because they are yet to question seven more witnesses.

Meanwhile, the police issued a summons for Mr Premchai’s wife to acknowledge charge of illegal possession of African tusks on March 20 after she failed to report to police today.