Former Kaeng Krachan national park chief Chaiwat Limlikhit-akson and the three fellow suspects have been detained without bail for the alleged murder of rights activist Porlajee “Billy” Rakchongcharoen.
After four hours of questioning by the Department of Special Investigation (DSI), the suspects denied all the charges filed against them.
Chaiwat, Boontaen Busarakham, Thanaseth Chaemthet and Krisanapong Chitthet are charged with; premeditated murder, illegal detention, coercion, robbery, tampering with evidence. They were also charged with malfeasance of office in connection with the disappearance and murder of Karen community rights activist Porlajee “Billy” Rakchongcharoen five years ago.
Currently director of Conservation Office 9 in Ubon Ratchathani province, Chaiwat told Thai PBS, after the lengthy interrogation, that all four of them will not request bail at this stage.
DSI deputy director-general Pol Lt-Col Pakorn Suchivakul said that the DSI would have objected to their bail requests anyway, adding that, while no arrest warrants for additional suspects have been filed so far, the investigation of Billy’s murder continues.
Earlier, Chaiwat complained that social media users have already found him and his men guilty, while claiming that he has always worked in accordance with justice process. He said that, when he made any accusations against anybody, he would give them a fair chance to defend themselves.
The former park chief also expressed skepticism over the DSI’s rush to wrap up Billy’s case against them saying “In just six months, they (the DSI) knew the motives, the background, all the evidence. There must be something.”
Nevertheless, he said that they will all fight the case in court.