Embattled youth lѐse majesté suspects freed

The Military Court has granted bail to Thai junta critics who have been accused of lѐse majesté after their arrests.

The Military Court of Bangkok on Friday, 8 July 2016, refused the sixth custody requests from the police to continue to detain Harit Mahaton and Natthika Worathaiwich, suspects under Article 112 of the Criminal Code, the lѐse majesté law, and granted 500,000 baht bail for each of the suspects.

The two are among the eight abducted junta critics who have been charged with sedition for allegedly being involved in Facebook pages that mock Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, the junta leader and Prime Minister, including a Facebook page called ‘We Love Gen Prayut’.

Unlike the other six who were granted bail earlier, however, they are also accused of lѐse majesté for sending messages deemed to have defamed the Thai Monarchy in a private Facebook chat.

According to Winyat Chatmontree, lawyer from Free Thai Legal Aid (FTLA) representing the two suspects, they will continue to fight the case through the judicial system.

The two suspects will be released on Friday evening after remaining under custody for more than two months since mid April.

It is extremely rare especially for the Military Court to grant bail for suspects accused of defaming the Thai monarchy as it is a serious crime against national security under the Thai law.



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