Court dismisses appeal for release of four protesters

The Appeal Court has dismissed an appeal for the temporarily releases of four key Ratsadon members facing royal defamation charges.

It cited as reasons the severe penalties of the offences, their brazen behaviours which tarnish the highly respected monarchy and hurt the feelings of all loyal Thais without fear of the law, their past records of similar offences and flight risks.

Activist Somyot Pruksakasemsuk, Parit
Activist Somyot Pruksakasemsuk, Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak and Arnon Nampa flash three-fingers salute as they arrive at the criminal court after the public attorney moved to prosecute royal insult charges against them at the Criminal Court in Bangkok on Feb 9. (Reuters) photo)

Last Tuesday, public prosecutors indicted Arnon Nampa, Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak, Somyot Prueksakasemsuk and Patiwat “Mor Lam Bank” Saraiyaem on charges of lese majeste (Section 112 of the Criminal Code), sedition (Section 116), violating the Ancient Sites Act and lesser charges for their roles during the rally at Sanam Laung on Sept 19-20 last year.

Mr Parit also faced another lese majeste charge for his role during the Mob Fest at the Democracy Monument on Nov 14 last year.

The court’s decision came after 255 lecturers at 31 education establishments signed a statement read out in front of Bangkok Remand Prison on Monday morning, calling for their releases on bail.

Unlike detention during an investigation, which comes in rounds of 12 days each, pre-trial detention could go on for years until the court passes a final ruling.


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