Ekachai denied bail in motorcade case

Ekachai denied bail in motorcade case

Court of Appeal upholds criminal court ruling against veteran provocateur

Officers take Ekachai Hongkangwan into the Lat Phrao police station in Bangkok after his initial arrest on Oct 16. (Photo supplied)
Officers take Ekachai Hongkangwan into the Lat Phrao police station in Bangkok after his initial arrest on Oct 16. (Photo supplied)

The Court of Appeal has upheld a lower court ruling to deny bail to activist Ekachai Hongkangwan, who was charged with causing harm to Her Majesty the Queen’s liberty during her motorcade on Oct 14.

The court said that Ekkachai faced a serious charge under Section 110 of the Criminal Code, which carries a sentence of life imprisonment or a jail term of 16-20 years. If released on bail he would pose a flight risk, it ruled, adding that the lower court decision to refuse bail was justified.

The ruling was read out at the Criminal Court on Friday, Thai media reported.

Ekachai, 43, and Bunkueanun Paothong were arrested following an incident on Oct 14 when a motorcade carrying Her Majesty and His Royal Highness Prince Dipangkorn Rasmijoti travelled past demonstrators near Government House.

It remains unclear why that route was chosen and why no advance notice was given to demonstrators, who had said earlier that they had no intention to disrupt royal activities that were scheduled to take place that day.

The Criminal Court earlier granted bail to Mr Bunkueanun, a Mahidol University student, after he placed a surety of 200,000 baht. The court found he posed no flight risk.

Suranat Paenprasert, another activist, became the third suspect charged over the motorcade incident.

Mr Suranat, a coordinator of the Active Youth group, was apprehended at his house on Wednesday. 

Ekachai, a former businessman who served a three-year jail term for lese majeste, has been an outspoken critic of the current government and its junta predecessor.

After his release from jail in 2017, he directed his energy at mocking Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon and his collection of luxury watches.

Ekachai was assaulted six times over 16 months, apparently by supporters of the military-led regime, but police made no serious efforts to find the culprits, according to Thai Lawyers for Human Rights.


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