Thai suspect in Erawan Shrine bombing allowed bail

Thai suspect in Erawan Shrine bombing allowed bail

Wanna Suasan undergoes a physical checkup after police arrested her at Suvarnabhumi airport on Nov 22 for alleged involvement in the Erawan Shrine bombing in August 2015. (File photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
Wanna Suasan undergoes a physical checkup after police arrested her at Suvarnabhumi airport on Nov 22 for alleged involvement in the Erawan Shrine bombing in August 2015. (File photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

The Bangkok Military Court on Wednesday released Wanna Suasan, the Thai suspect in the 2015 Erawan Shrine bombing, on bail of 1 million baht on the condition she remains in the country.

Her lawyer placed the money as guarantee and the court later allowed her conditional release, with a reporting clause, media reported.

She was instructed not to leave the country or attempt to tamper with evidence or witnesses in the case.

Police arrested Mrs Wanna, 29, at Suvarnabhumi airport on Nov 22 as she returned from abroad with her two young sons. Police handed her over to the military court, which had issued a warrant for her arrest in September 2015. She was subsequently detained at the Central Women Correctional Institution in Bangkok.

It was reported she had returned voluntarily.

Mrs Wanna is the first Thai suspect identified in the Erawan bombing and allegedly acted as a facilitator, renting rooms for other bombing suspects who were friends of her Turkish husband Emrah Davutoglu.

The husband was accused of handling bomb-making material. The couple left with their infant son for Turkey, via Phuket, before the repatriation to China of 109 Uighurs which was initially believed to have provoked the Aug 17, 2015 bombing.

The bomb, hidden in a backpack left behind a seat at the Erawan Shrine, exploded at 6.55pm on Aug 17, 2015. Twenty people, 12 of them foreigners, were killed and more than 120 others injured. The majority were of Chinese ethnic extraction.

Adem Karadag, 26, also known as Bilal Turk, was arrested in a rented room in Nongchok district a few weeks later and accused of placing the bomb. Yusufu Mierali, 27, was later detained in Sa Kaeo province, suspected of acquiring bomb components and assembling the bomb for Mr Adem to plant.

Their trial before the military court is continuing, hampered by problems in finding acceptable interpreters. The defendants remain in custody.

One early theory was that the bombing was in retaliation for the government's deportation of 109 Uighurs to China in July 2015.

Police however ruled that out, saying the investigation indicated it was the work of members of a Uighur people trafficking network upset with the Thai authorities' crackdown on their business.

Mrs Wanna was charged with participation in premeditated murder, attempted murder and fatal bombing. Police said 14 other suspects were still at large.


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