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Tiger Disco inferno trial to begin April 2015

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: The long-awaited manslaughter trial over the deaths of four people in Patong’s Tiger Disco inferno, in August 2012, will begin with its first witness testimony in April 2015, confirmed the case public prosecutor.

Tiger Group CEO Piya Isaramalai and Sara Entertainment Co Ltd each face one charge of causing death through negligence under Section 291 of the Thai Criminal Code, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail, a fine of 20,000 baht, or both. They have denied the charges.

“Both parties appeared in court last month to present the evidence they have,” Public Prosecutor Vivath Kitjurak told the Phuket Gazette.

“The first witness testimony will begin in late April next year. I expect about six witnesses to testify.”

Mr Vivath told the Gazette that he cannot predict exactly how long the trial will last.

“It all comes down to the judge’s decision,” he said.

Other anticipated charges for the accused include causing physical and mental injury and trading after hours.

Both parties were formally charged on July 10 last year after a lengthy investigation and an appeal by Tiger Group legal counsel Thamrongsak Boonrak for a “fair investigation”.

Mr Piya was released the same day he was charged on an undisclosed amount of bail, paid in cash.

The popular night venue erupted into flames at about 4am on August 17, 2012, while hundreds of patrons were still inside (story here).

British tourist Michael Tzouvanni, 24; French tourist Emmanuel Becard, 30; and Thai nationals Duangporn Budklor, 34, and Nipaphat Sudtasorn, 36, died in the inferno.

— Chutharat Plerin

 

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