The Supreme Court has granted billionaire Premchai Karnasuta bail after a appeals court sentenced him to 2 years in Jail. Two co-defendants were also granted conditional bail by the Supreme Court.
Premchai and his accomplices had their jail terms increased for poaching in the Thungyai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary by the Appeals Court.
Premchai and his co-defendants are required to wear electronic ankle tags to monitor their movements, and are banned from leaving the country.
The court also required them to post 1 million baht each, a meger sum for the Thai billionaire.
The construction tycoon and his cronies were caught redhanded with carcasses of protected animals and firearms, last year. Stirring widespread public criticism from citizens nation wide.
Premchai and his accomplices spent Thursday night in holding cells at Thong Pha Phum prison before being brought to the Supreme Court. After being granted the bail, they travelled back to the prison to fill out their release papers.
The Appeal Court on Thursday increased the prison sentence and gave Premchai a 2 year sentence for; illegal possession of firearms; and wildlife carcasses, including a rare black leopard; and poaching in the wildlife sanctuary early last year. Premchai Karnasuta is CEO of Italian-Thai Development a billion dollar Thai constrution company.
Vitoon Yaemprai, his lawyer, said the court also told his client to report himself on Jan 13 next year.
Premchai and his cronies declined to speak to the media.
Thai Justice is ‘blind’ – to the rich’s crimes
Thailand’s rich and powerful have always had a better chance at evading punishment than their poorer and less connected counterparts. But with the internet and social media its become increasingly difficult to hide this privilege.
In Thailand increased scrutiny and real-time exposure of how the rich and powerful use their money and influence to circumvent justice has not translated to more prosecutions of wealthy and influential criminals.
Amid case after case of blatant exploitation of power and influence. The Thai public has become almost desensitized by the impunity of the rich. People have come to expect different standards of justice applied to the rich and the poor.
The course of justice for the rich and the poor usually follows different paths. The weight of justice and court sentences are measured on different scales. To accommodate the rich and powerful the scale of court justice can be tilted. Sometimes the weight on one side is so heavy that the scale of justice can’t take the strain and breaks completely.