Thursday, July 18, 2019

Kanchanaburi binturong hunter jailed

Mar 06. 2019
File photo: Tata
File photo: Tata
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By Suphot Kaewkasi
The Nation

2,801 Viewed

The Kanchanaburi Provincial Court on Wednesday handed down a jail term of three years and seven months plus a Bt2,000 fine to the 41-year-old Myanmar Kareni man identified only as Tata over his shooting of a binturong in Sai Yok National Park last October.

The judge initially handed seven year and two month term to Tata, who worked as a caretaker at the Tao Dam Monastery in Tambon Krajae, Kanchanaburi's Sai Yok district, but halved the term because the judge took into consideration his guilty plea and confession during the preliminary session on January 24.

The judge on January 24 listed the charges filed against all the case's 13 defendants, including camping out overnight, carrying guns, shooting the binturong in the Khao Plu forest within a national park and possession of the carcass. The seven defendants, including Tata, had pleaded guilty.

Binturong feet are seized along with guns during the October 7, 2018, arrest of Dam Makham Tia district office employee Watcharachai Sameerak and others at Kanchanaburi National Park.

Six Thais, including two women Sriwichit Ditchaem and Arun Saengsai, and males Tassadanai Khokrachok, Jirachai Tantiwattanasit, Prasan Temthanan and Somkiat Pengnaren, were each given suspended two-year jail terms. 

Another six Thai male defendants, including deputy district chief for defence at Dam Makham Tia district office Watcharachai Sameerak, who denied the charges, would face trial on April 22 when evidence would be reviewed. 

Other defendants to stand trial along with Watcharachai are Chatchai Kohloy, Sunthorn Macharoenrungreung, Sakan Kaengluang, Anusorn Reun-ngam and Thaworn Siangliew.

Thirteen suspects had been detained and released on bail but a 14th suspect, a Burmese man named Jenra or Jira, allegedly joined the hunting party. He remains at large, according to the authorities.

This case had also led to Watcharachai's temporary dismissal from the civil service by Kanchanaburi Governor Jeerakiat Bhumsawat, pending the results of a disciplinary probe and criminal investigation. 

Two Dan Makham Tia defence volunteers, Sakan and Anusorn, have also been suspended from work without pay pending the results of the investigation.

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