A total of 43 cases involving security and criminal offences have been transferred from military courts to courts of justice under an order of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), says Prayut Phetkhun, deputy spokesman of the Office of the Attorney-General.
NCPO Order No 9/2019, signed by Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha before an elected government was formed, lifts NCPO Orders Nos 37/2014, 38/2014, 43/2014, 50/2014 and 55/2016. As a result, security and criminal cases being considered by the military courts must be transferred to the courts of justice and cases being considered by the military prosecutors must be transferred to the Office of the Attorney-General.
After NCPO Order No 9/2019 took effect, altogether 43 cases being considered by military courts have been transferred to courts of justice.
The 43 cases are divided into four groups.
The first group involves cases which have been indicted in military courts and examinations of witnesses have been completed, pending final rulings. The final rulings are to be made after the cases have been transferred to the courts of justice.
The second group consists of cases which have been indicted in the military courts and warrants have been issued for the arrests of suspects, but the suspects have not been caught. In this case, police investigators must cancel the old arrest warrants and ask the courts of justice to issue new ones for further legal proceedings.
The third group comprises cases which have been indicted in the military courts and the examinations of witnesses have been partlially done. For this group, the prosecutors of the Office of the Attorney-General are responsible for completing the examinations of the remaining witnesses for further rulings by the courts of justice.
The fourth group involves cases which have been indicted in the military courts, but the examinations of witnesses have not yet begun. The prosecutors of the Office of the Attorney-General must take over the witness examinations from the beginning.
Of the 43 cases, four are high-profile ones.
The first involves two Uighur suspects in the explosion at the Erawan Shrine at the Ratchaprasong intersection on Aug 17, 2015 and the bombing of the Sathorn boat pier and Aug 18, 2015 which caused deaths and injuries. The examination of witnesses has not been completed. The case has been transferred to the South Bangkok Criminal Court. The witness examination will resume on Jan 27 next year.
In the second case, Palang Pracharath MP for Ratchaburi Pareena Kraikupt and Satcha Sathirapongsasuthi were accused of violating laws on firearms and ammunition. The case has been transferred to the Criminal Court and the trial has been set to resume on Jan 27.
The third is a case in which Sombat Boonngam-anong, a political activist, was accused of violating Section 116 of the Criminal Code and Section 14 of the Computer Crime Act. The case has been transferred to the Criminal Court, and the trial will resume on Jan 28.
The fourth case involves Chaturon Chaisang, a former deputy prime minister in a Thaksin Shinawatra government and former chief of the strategic committee of the now-dissolved Thai Raksa Chart Party. He was accused of violating Sections 116 and 368 of the Criminal Code and Section 14 of the Computer Crime Act. The case has been transferred to the Criminal Court and the trial will resume on Jan 29.