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Court hears police testimony for prosecution side in ‘black leopard’ trial of Premchai, three others

Kanchanaburi’s Thong Pha Phum Provincial Court on Tuesday heard testimony from three policemen during the seventh prosecution-witness session in the “black leopard” trial for alleged poaching against construction tycoon Premchai Karnasuta and three others.

The prosecution’s three witnesses were Kanchanaburi forensic police chief investigator Pol Colonel Sommai Chotikanawin, Thong Pha Phum precinct deputy superintendent Pol Lt-Colonel Prachoom Nontharak, and Natural Resources And Environmental Crime Division inspector Pol Major Sarayuth Srimanjaburi.
With the court having set aside 10 sessions for the prosecution witnesses to take the stand, 15 witnesses had testified in the previous six sessions, leaving 17 to testify in the remaining four sessions on Tuesday to Thursday this week, and then on December 18. 
After that, 17 defence witnesses will testify during six sessions from December 19-21 and December 25-27. 
Premchai, president of listed construction giant Italian-Thai Development, was arrested and charged with poaching in Thungyai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary in February, along with three associates – Yong Dodkrua, Thanee Thummat and Nathee Riamsaen. 
Six allegations, including illegally carrying firearms in public, hunting protected wildlife, and poaching inside the wildlife reserve, have been laid against Premchai, while Thanee, Yong and Nathee are facing eight, seven and five allegations, respectively.
Thanee, Yong and Nathee were present along with their lawyers for Tuesday’s seventh prosecution-witness session, but Premchai did not attend. 
As per the court’s approval of his request for absence from the prosecution’s witness hearings, Premchai will not attend the court until the defence-witness hearings commence.

Published : December 11, 2018

By : The Nation