Deputy PM denies land fiddle
PHUKET: Deputy Prime Minister Pitak Intrawitayanunt took reporters to the northwest end of the island on Saturday for a tour of a piece of land he bought in 1990, which was at the center of accusations made in the recent parliamentary no-confidence debate. K. Pitak repeated his assertions, made during the debate, that he had obtained the land near Baan Layan without abusing his power or position. He said the land had been in use since 1927 and that in 1978 – three years before a national park was declared in the area – the Land Department had issued a Nor Sor 3 Gor to the former owner. “I wanted to show [reporters] that there are coconut trees and rubber trees which have been here for years, and to show that the land has not been [left to go wild],” K. Pitak said. Asked about Opposition accusations that his land was actually part of a national park and therefore could not qualify for a Chanote deed, K. Pitak said that he simply went as a “normal person” and asked a land officer whether the land could be transferred from the previous owner. “The officer said ‘yes’, so I bought it,” K. Pitak said. “That’s all.” K. Pitak said the area was zoned as national park in 1981, but that his property had been been in use since 1927, and that plots on which there were already titles were exempted from inclusion in the park.
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