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Ex-official backs convicted couple in encroachment case

Mar 22. 2016
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By The Nation

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The Kalasin couple, who were awaiting a Supreme Court ruling over their appeal against a lower court’s 15-year prison sentence for forest-reserve encroachment in 2010, yesterday brought a key witness to testify to their innocence at the Crime Suppression
Following their complaint filed with the CSD last week about officials’ harassment of them, Udom and Daeng Sirisorn brought former official Somchat Matthujad as a witness. 
Somchat revealed that the encroached area was originally cited as 52 rai before mysteriously expanding to 72 rai and the evidence of 700 tree stumps was unusual. 
They also cited the Department of Special Investigation and reports by other agencies and satellite photos proving the 700 stumps accusation, as claimed in the arrest record, was false. They also submitted documents from Kalasin Hospital to confirm Udom’s hearing impairment and muscle weakness was due to concussion |from two previous accidents – not from cutting down trees as alleged.
Songkran Atchariyasap, the chairman of the Network Against Acts |that Destroy Kingdom, Religion and Monarchy, who accompanied the |couple, also claimed the Kalasin Probation Office’s Monday report clearly stated the couple’s innocence.

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