• Court rejects DSI request to revoke bail of ex-park chief Chaiwat

    The Criminal Court for Corruption Cases has rejected a request, from the Department of Special Investigation, to withdraw the bail of former Kaeng Krachan park chief Chaiwat Limlikhit-akson and three other suspects, allegedly involved in the murder of Karen community rights activist Porlajee “Billy” Rakchongcharoen about five years ago.

    In the request, DSI officials told the court that Mr. Chaiwat, who was recently transferred to assist in suppression of illegal logging in Pattani province, had given interviews to the media on different occasions, accusing the DSI of falsifying evidence against the four suspects.

    Chaiwat also reportedly said the four would visit Kaeng Krachan national park, to make a vow to the spirits there, in a way which might cause confusion among some potential prosecution witnesses.

    The former park chief, however, said that he merely expressed his views about the case to the media in good faith and had no intention to visit the park.  He also claimed that he had no authority in the park.

    The court ruled that there is no valid reason to revoke the bail and that there were no indications that the suspects would tamper with the evidence.

    After the court ruling, Chaiwat told the media that he and the three other suspects will, from now on, not talk to the media and will not return to Kaeng Krachan national park.


  • DSI to ask court to revoke Chaiwat’s bail or ban him from talking to the media

    The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) is to ask the Criminal Court for Corruption Cases to revoke the bail granted to former Kaeng Krachan national park chief Chaiwat Limlikhit-akson and the three other suspects, or to set a new bail condition.

    Chaiwat, currently director of Conservation Office in north-eastern province of Ubon Ratchathani, Boontaen Busarakham, Paithoon Chaemthet and Krisnanapong Chamthet have been charged with multiple counts in connection with the disappearance and murder of Karen community rights activist Poralajee “Billy” Rakchongcharoen about five years ago.

    A well-informed DSI source told Thai PBS that, since his release on bail on November 12th, Chaiwat has given several interviews, to the Press, TV stations and social media, in which allegedly inaccurate statements about the case were made, causing difficulties for DSI officials in the gathering of evidence and fear among some witnesses, to the extent that some of them are reluctant to cooperate with investigators.

    The source said that the DSI will ask the court to revoke the bail of four suspects, or to forbid them from giving information, to either the professional or social media, if their bail is not revoked.

    The court will also be asked to prevent the four men from entering Kaeng Krachan national park, noting that several prosecution witnesses are living there.

    The DSI had objected to their release on bail, but the court overruled the objection and granted the bail at 800,000 baht each.

    Billy was arrested on April 17th, 2014 for allegedly stealing wild honey in the park.  Chaiwat has claimed that Billy was also released on the same day, but he has not been seen since.


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