Lawyer evicted from SorPorKor land

PHUKET TOWN: The Phuket Provincial Court today ordered the eviction of a local lawyer from two plots of land in Chalong totaling 29 rai, ruling that he did not meet the qualifications to occupy agricultural land under the SorPorKor land reform program. The ruling comes just days after Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra complained that past legal cases against “important people” in Phuket who held SorPorKor titles had been weak, and vowed to have all cases checked again. Hat Katanchuleekul, a lawyer and opposition leader in the Phuket Town Council, was not present at the ruling today. He had occupied two separate plots in Chalong, one of 12 rai and another of 17 rai. K. Hat was not available for comment on the court’s decision. Today’s ruling is only the second eviction among 11 ongoing cases of SorPorKor land occupation being pursued by the Phuket Provincial Agriculture Land Reform Office (ALRO). Last year, Vipawan Chusub lost her right to occupy SorPorKor land and was evicted. In another case, against Vanich Ekvanich, some rulings both for and against the defendant have been made, but the case is still in appeals court. K. Vanich still occupies the land while the court case continues. The LRO is pursuing six other cases through the appeals court, after they were dismissed by the Phuket Provincial Court. The defendents in these cases are: the family of the deceased Banlue Tantiwit, former President of the Phuket Provincial Administration Organization and resort owner in Patong; Boonkeng Srisansuchart, owner of Sri Suchart Grandview; Tossaporn Thepabutr, the husband of Democrat MP Anchalee Vanich-Thepabutr; Charearn Thavornwongwongse, Group Managing Director of Thavorn Hotels & Resorts; Thanate Ekvanich; and Narong Nopdara. The ALRO is also preparing two other SorPorKor land title cases, against Somnuke Kraithat and Sophon Ekwanich. Evidence is still being gathered and the cases are scheduled to go to court in October and November, respectively. The total land occupied by the 11 defendants is just over 600 rai.

Phuket News
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