Black Panther Trial: Premchai Acquitted of Ivory Possession

Premchai Karnasuta at the Criminal Court on Oct. 1, 2019

BANGKOK — A construction tycoon previously convicted of poaching in a protected forest was acquitted by a court on Tuesday of possessing illegal ivory at his home.

The ivory products were found at Premchai Karnasuta’s residence when police searched it following his arrest in February 2018 on poaching charges. Though prosecutors suspected the ivories were trafficked, the court today ruled Premchai acquired them legally.

Read: Premchai Sentenced to 16 Months in Jail in Black Panther Case

In its verdict, the court said Premchai produced documents to prove that he inherited the four ivories in 1987 from his mother, who had permits for the products.



The court also instructed the authorities to return the confiscated ivory to Premchai.

Premchai was previously sentenced in March to 16 months in prison for conspiring to poach wildlife and weapons-related charges. He was also found guilty of bribing wildlife officials in June and given a one-year jail term.

Premchai, a CEO of the Ital-Thai conglomerate, appealed both verdicts and secured a bail release.