Thai court dismisses bail request of lèse majesté suspect with health problems

The Criminal Court on Monday ruled to continue the detention of two lèse majesté suspects and denied a bail request from one suspect.
Ratchada Criminal Court in Bangkok dismissed a bail request by Tanet, a lèse majesté suspect whose surname is withheld due to privacy concerns, whose friends put up 200,000 baht in cash as security. Tanet, who is HIV positive, cited his poor health conditions as the reason for bail.
However, the Criminal Court judge reasoned that the suspect is charged with a serious crime related to national security.
The suspect was accused of “distributing false information that could affect public sentiment and aimed to harm the reputation of the beloved Thai monarchy. This is related to national security. The suspect has conducted a serious crime and might escape. Although the suspect claimed that he is in poor health and need to be taken care of by physicians, the proof is not sufficient. Therefore, the court cannot allow temporary release,” said the judge.
According to iLaw, the court also said the document concerning Tanet’s medical condition provided by the lawyer was not strong enough to convince the court to rule otherwise.  
Tanet was accused of sending an email containing a link to lèse majesté content to Emilio Estaban, who ran the StopLeseMajeste blog. 
The second court hearing in Tanet’s case is scheduled on 1 December after it was suspended pending medical results of the suspect’s psychological state.
Also on Monday, the court ruled to extend the detention of Pornthip M., 26, for another seven days, at the request of the public prosecutor. 
If the prosecutor cannot finish drafting the case by 25 October, the authorities will not be able to hold Pornthip in custody any more. 
Pornthip has been detained at the Central Women Correctional Institution since mid-August. She was accused of being involved in a political play “The Wolf Bride” centring on a fictional monarchy. It was performed at Thammasat University, Bangkok, in October 2013 on the fortieth anniversary of the 14 October 1973 people’s uprising.
The offense of lèse majesté is found in Article 112 of Thailand’s penal code. The Thai authorities have frequently used Article 112 to intimidate, arrest, and prosecute people who are alleged to have criticized or spoken ill about HM the King and members of the royal family or questioned the lèse majesté law and its enforcement.


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