All eyes on Premchai case with Supreme Court verdict expected today
Thong Pha Phum Provincial Court in Kanchanaburi is scheduled to release the Supreme Court’s verdict later on Wednesday in the case of alleged poaching and hunting by Italian-Thai Development CEO Premchai Kanasutra at Thung Yai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary in February 2018.
Many are watching the verdict closely as it would affect equality in Thai society.
Here’s the timeline of the case:
February 4, 2018: Thung Yai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary officials investigate the sound of gunfire in Huai Pachee forest.
February 5, 2018: The carcass of a black leopard is found.
February 6, 2018: Premchai and his accomplices are arrested by wildlife sanctuary officials. They were later granted bail of THB150,000 per person.
The hashtag #เสือดำต้องไม่ตายฟรี (black leopards will not die for free) goes viral among netizens.
March 2, 2018: Prime suspect Premchai gives his testimony for the first time.
March 13, 2018: A prosecutor files nine charges against Premchai.
April 30, 2018: The prosecutor files six charges against his accomplices.
June 6, 2018: Premchai’s lawyer files a request to change the court.
November 23, 2018: Former Thung Yai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary chief Wichian Chinnawong, who had arrested Premchai, receives a reward from the United Nations.
November 27, 2018: The Thong Pha Phum Provincial Court summons 32 prosecutors for investigation.
December 19, 2018: An investigation of 17 defendants starts.
December 26, 2018: The investigation ends.
March 19, 2019: The Civil Court sentences Premchai to 16 months in jail without parole under three charges:
1. Carrying hunting rifles in a public area – six months imprisonment.
2. Supporting others in carrying out a hunt in a wildlife sanctuary area – eight months imprisonment.
3. Possessing the carcass of protected wildlife (a kalij pheasant) – two months imprisonment.
The court revokes the charges of collecting forest products and possessing a black leopard carcass.
The court also orders Premchai and his accomplices to pay a compensation of THB2 million.