Local news

No privileges for tycoon-turned-inmate behind bars: Justice minister


By Thai Newsroom Reporters

JUSTICE MINISTER Somsak Thepsuthin confirmed today (Dec. 29) construction tycoon-turned-inmate Premchai Karnasuta will be given no privileges behind bars.

Somsak made his comments in response to a leniency petition lodged by Kanita Karnasuta, the spouse of Premchai, the former president of Italian-Thai Development Plc who was earlier this month sentenced to two years and 14 months in prison on charges of conspiring to slay a black panther and jointly possessing the game’s carcasses in a western forest reserve nearly four years ago.

Kanita insisted that the justice minister grant a temporary release for the 67-year-old inmate so that he could be transferred to a hospital for medical treatment for several of his chronic illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart problems.

Nevertheless, Somsak maintained that Premchai is by no means entitled to any privileges as an inmate otherwise, he said, the authorities would almost certainly be taken to task by the public for allegedly applying double-standard measures.

The justice minister assured that the Department of Corrections has invariably taken health and safety measures for inmates in all prisons and is primarily obliged to take care of them in accordance with the applicable law.

Any inmates who may get seriously ill in prisons will be immediately rushed to hospitals under care of the department, according to the justice minister.

Premchai’s spouse has earlier repeatedly filed such a petition to the department but no official response from the agency has been made as yet.

The Supreme Court ruled Premchai guilty of breaking the law under the Wildlife Conservation and Protection Act by killing the black panther and jointly possessing the carcasses of the legally protected wildlife species for which he had allegedly hunted as game with a rifle in Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary in Kanchanaburi in early 2018.

The former president of the giant construction contractor was sentenced to two years and 14 months in jail with immediate effect and without suspension.


Top, below and Home Page: Kanita Karnasuta petitioning Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin for leniency for her spouse Premchai, the former president of Italian-Thai Development Plc. Photos: Matichon  

Insert: The former Italian-Thai Development boss at the hunting camp. Photo: BBC

Also read: Update: Construction tycoon gets 3 years and 2 month in jail in black panther case


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