THE THONG PHA PHUM Provincial Court in Kanchanaburi has asked the Appeals Court to rule whether the poaching case involving construction tycoon Premchai Karnasuta could be handled by the Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases Region 7, raising a wide discussion among the public about whether or not that could be done by law.
A legal expert interviewed by The Sunday Nation said that the requested transfer was not likely to be approved.
Premchai’s lawyer reportedly requested the transfer on Wednesday on the grounds that it was related to a bribery case that the court for corruption was considering.
A decision on whether the case should be transferred will take time.
Premchai and his three alleged accomplices were arrested in February after officials found evidence that they had hunted wild animals, including a highly endangered black leopard, in Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuary, Kanchanaburi province.
But as explained by a source who is a legal expert, whether the case could be transferred to the corruption court and merged depended on whether they were the same issue and within the court’s jurisdiction. According to the expert, who asked not to be named, the cases are not the same. The alleged bribery took place after the alleged poaching had been completely committed, the expert said. In addition, the two cases were forwarded separately to the two courts, and thus fell under separate jurisdictions.
The two courts, the expert added, have different judicial systems. Thus, the corruption court would proceed with the case using an inquisitional approach, while the justice court would undertake an accusational approach to deliberate. Thus, it was not possible for the poaching case to be transferred to the corruption court, the expert said.