CHON BURI: The owner of Mountain B pub was taken to Pattaya Provincial Court on Wednesday, facing arraignment on two counts in connection with the inferno at the pub that has claimed 19 lives and left many other patrons grievously burned.
Somyos Panprasong, 55, was escorted to the court around 10.15am by a team of five Phu Ta Luang police, led by deputy investigation chief Pol Capt Boonsong Yuenyong.
He kept a straight face as he was taken to a police vehicle and did not give a press interview.
At the court, police applied to detain him for a further 12 days while they continue their investigation.
Relatives of victims were also at the court, in Bang Lamung district, to oppose bail.
Defence counsel Anucha Wongsrirat confirmed he would apply for his client's release on bail, offering 500,000 baht as a surety. He said Mr Somyos had no intention of fleeing and had surrendered himself to police on Tuesday.
Ronnarong Kaewphet, lawyer for relatives of the victims, said he was there to oppose bail. He said witnesses feared for their safety if the suspect was released on bail. They were also afraid his influence could interfere with evidence.
Mr Somyos reported to Phu Ta Luang police in Sattahip district, Chon Buri, on Tuesday morning after a court warrant was issued for arrest in connection with the horrific Aug 5 fire.
He was charged with recklessness, causing deaths and injuries, and opening and operating an entertainment venue without permission. He initially denied the charges.
The warrant was issued after police confirmed that Mr Somyos is in fact the owner of and investor in the pub, which was run by his son Pongsiri Panprasong, 27.
To date, the death toll from the fire is 19 people, with many more customers suffering critical burns.
Lawyer Ronnarong Kaewphet, wearing a blue jacket, and relatives of the pub fire victims gather at Pattaya Provincial Court to oppose bail. (Photo: Chaiyot Pupattanapong)