By The Nation
The Bangkok Southern Criminal Court Tuesday sentenced the owner of the Santika pub to three years in jail for negligence leading to dozens of deaths at a 2008 New Year's Eve party.
The court found Wisuk Setsawat guilty of negligence for failing to obey building regulations and provide safety equipment and emergency exits at his Santika pub.
The pub caught fire on the morning of January 1, 2008, killing 67 people and injuring another 103.
The court also found him guilty of allowing minors to enter Santika.
Wisuk said he would appeal against the ruling.
The court also sentenced Boonchu Laorinath, owner of the Focus Light Sound System Company, to three years in jail for negligence in erecting the stage display, including fireworks, that sparked the blaze.
Boonchu was also ordered to pay restitution of Bt8.5 million to the five plaintiffs, relatives of the victims.
The pub's operating licence was due to expire on New Year's Day.
Senior prosecutor Ruecha Krairuek said 40 relatives of the victims acted as co-complainants, and all seven defendants pleaded not guilty before the testimonies of 50 state witnesses began and were completed on August 21.