Supreme Court Dismissed the Petition for Release of Billy

2 กันยายน 2558


Today (2nd September 2015), Petchburi Provincial Court pronounced the Supreme Court judgement dismissing the case of Mr. Polajee Rakjongcharoen or Billy’s disappearance, a Karen villager from Pongluek Village – Bang Kloi since the petitioner did not satisfy the court with evidence to believe that Mr. Billy was detained by the former chief of Kang Krajan National Park.


Petchburi Provincial Court and Regional 7 Court of Appeal previously dismissed the petition of Ms. Pinnapa or Muenor Prueksapan requesting the court to release Mr. Billy from the illegal detention pursuant to Section 90 of the Criminal Procedure Code and Section 32 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand B.E. 2550, as the Court of Appeal deemed that according to the testimonies, Mr. Chaiwat Limlikitaksorn and 4 national park officials including 2 trainees gave consistent testimonies that Mr. Billy had been released, even though their testimonies were different in minor details which were not the essences. The court stated that the evidence provided by the petitioner could not attest the illegal detention of Mr. Billy; therefore, the court dismissed the petition of Mr. Pinnapa, who later submitted the petition to the Court of Appeal.


The Supreme Court suggested that after the petitioner filed the petition, the court would have to investigate and determine whether the petition of Mr. Billy's wife was well-grounded before summoning the detainers who are the national park officials for inquisition. However, regarding this case, after the Court of First Instance received the petition and inquired the petitioner, the petitioner's petition has not been pronounced whether it is well-grounded, but the summon warrant has been issued to Kang Krajan national park officials for inquisition. Therefore, the proceedings are deemed unlawful, as the court cannot take the latter inquisition into consideration. Consequently, the court only considered the petitioner, Ms. Pinnapa’s testimony and the village headman and Doctor Niran Pitakwachara, National Human Rights Commissioner. The court deemed that the petitioner and the village headman’s witnesses were not at the scene, and no one actually saw Billy being detained. Doctor Niran only served as circumstantial evidence, so this case was groundless and the court dismissed the petition.


However, this dismissal will not affect the investigation on the disappearance of Mr. Billy, as Ms. Pinnapa has filed a petition to Department of Special Investigation (DSI) for further investigation.


Ms. Waraporn Uthairangsi, who is Ms. Pinnapa’s lawyer, explained the reasons for filing the petition to DIS are that this case involves the influence and power of the local authorities and that the witnesses are so afraid that they cannot provide true information to the police officers and that DIS may have authority to take this case. However, if DIS rejects the case, more investigation will be carried out to prove that this is not a disappearance case but a murder case.


As for the Supreme Court judgement, Ms. Pinnapa or Muenor gave a short statement to BBC Thai saying that she felt sorry but she would wait for further investigation and wait to see whether or not DIS would take this case as their special case.


Ms. Angkana Neelapaijit, Acting Human Rights Commissioner, who also came to the Supreme Court for the judgement, said that she was sorry that the court did not summon more witnesses but she still hoped for police investigation on this criminal case and believed that DIS would take this case as their special case.



News sources - BBC Thai and Thai News Agency