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Brunei
Tuesday, September 27, 2022
30.9 C
Brunei
Tuesday, September 27, 2022
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    Thai authorities to charge park official in activist’s murder

    BANGKOK (AFP) – Four people suspected of murdering an environmental activist who disappeared eight years ago are set to be indicted, Thai officials said yesterday, reversing a controversial decision to dismiss charges two years ago.

    Ethnic Karen leader Por Cha Lee Rakcharoen, better known as Billy, went missing in April 2014 while working on a lawsuit accusing officials of destroying minorities’ homes in Kaeng Krachen national park.

    An investigation centred around then-park chief Chaiwat Limlikitaksor, who was the last person to see Billy alive, but in 2020 murder charges against him were dropped due to “insufficient evidence”.

    The decision ignited criticism, with Billy’s wife vowing to fight on and international rights groups saying the dismissal made a “mockery” of the Thai legal system. Yesterday deputy spokesman of the Office of the Attorney General Prayuth Pecharakun told AFP that his office had reversed course and “decided to indict four suspects involved in the case of Billy”.

    He confirmed Chaiwat – along with three unidentified individuals – would be “indicted for premeditated murder, detention and concealing a corpse”.

    Chaiwat is believed to have been the last person to see Billy alive after the activist was detained for apparently collecting honey illegally.

     

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