Prosecutor objects to Premchai’s request for transfer of illegal hunting case 

The public prosecutor in charge of the Thungyai illegal hunting case has objected to the request of Italian-Thai Development boss Premchai Karnasuta to have his case transferred from Thong Phaphum provincial court in Kanchanaburi to the Region 7 Criminal Court’s anti-corruption litigation in Samut Songkhram province.

Region 7 special prosecutor of criminal litigation Mr Somjate Amnuaysawat told Thai PBS on Thursday that he wondered what was happening, saying the illegal hunting case was the primary case and could be tried separately from the bribery case in which Premchai and another defendant, Mr Yong Dodkrua, were already indicted at the court in Samut Songkhram.

He also pointed that since officials of Thungyai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary were based in Kanchanaburi province, he wondered whether it would be convenient for them to travel to Samut Songkhram to attend the hearings.

However, he said the Thong Phaphum prosecutor had already submitted his objection against the requested transfer of the illegal hunting case to the Thong Phaphum provincial court for consideration.

The Thong Phaphum court on Wednesday decided to submit Premchai’s request to the Appeals Court for consideration.  The court also decided to adjourn the hearing scheduled Wednesday to August 27 when a ruling from the Appeals Court is expected to be announced in response to the request.

Meanwhile, former attorney-general Trakul Vinitchaipark wrote in his Facebook post that it has been 116 days since the illegal hunting case was exposed and it is steadily disappearing from the memory of the public.

He claimed that there are still many behind-the-scene things about the case that he could not talk about in public because he is just an outsider.

In his Facebook post, Seub Nakhasathien Foundation chairman Sasin Chalermlarb also expressed his surprise about the request for the transfer of the case.

Besides Premchai,  the three other co-defendants in the illegal hunting case are  Yong Dodkrua, Thanee Tummart and Mrs Nathee Riamsaen..  They were charged with six counts of charge, including carrying arms without license, illegal hunting in wildlife sanctuary, illegal hunting the sanctuary without a permit, illegal possession of carcasses of protected wildlife species, attempt to cover up their alleged offences and illegal hunting of forest products.