The Central Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases has granted bail to Chaiwat Limlikit-aksorn, the former Kaeng Krachan National Park chief, and three others facing multiple charges in connection with the disappearance and murder of a Karen rights activist in 2014.
Department of Special Investigation (DSI) officials on Monday took Mr Chaiwat, Bunthaen Butsarakham, Thanaset Chaemthet and Kritsanaphong Chitthet to the Office of the Attorney-General (OAG) where they were indicted.
The accused later appeared in court where they immediately applied for and were granted bail on the condition they do not leave the country without permission or intimidate witnesses.
Each defendant posted an 800,000-baht surety to the court.
All four are accused of involvement in the disappearance and death of Porlajee “Billy” Rakchongcharoen and face charges that include premeditated murder, unlawful detention and concealment of a corpse, and intimidating the victim using weapons, according to the DSI.
Speaking to reporters as he arrived at the OAG, Mr Chaiwat maintained his innocence and said that he was not worried about the case.
“I deny all the accusations and am innocent. I will only give a full statement in court,” he said.
Porlajee was last seen on April 17, 2014, when he was detained by Mr Chaiwat and several other park officers at Ma Rew checkpoint in the park, which is located at the main entrance to Bang Kloy village in Phetchaburi’s Kaeng Krachan district.