The Justice Ministry on Saturday explained the courts' decisions to turn down bail for high-profile fugitive Chaowalit Thongduang, insisting the rejection was fully justifiable.
Chaowalit, alias “Sia Paeng Nanod," was serving time for attempted murder and faced multiple other criminal charges, including murder and possession of firearms without permission.
He fled from Maharaj Nakhon Si Thammarat Hospital on Oct 22. He had been taken there for dental treatment and was subsequently admitted after collapsing, claiming he had severe leg pains. Despite being restrained to the bed and wearing leg chains, he escaped overnight.
While on the run, Chaowalit has posted a series of videos clips in which he accused a public prosecutor, only identified by the Thai alphabet initial "Bor", and six others of involvement in a plot to seize a suspect called Sitthidet from police in Phatthalung province in 2019.
The 37-year-old escaped convict claimed he was unfairly treated as the only suspect sentenced for his crime, despite numerous others being involved.
He also said his appeal for bail had not been handled fairly.
According to Court of Justice spokesman Sorawit Limparangsri, the trials in the two criminal cases Chaowalit was likely referring to were handled by Phatthalung Provincial Court and the Appeal Court Region 9.
In the first case involving theft and illegal use of firearms, Chaowalit was indicted on Jan 11 last year. He applied unsuccessfully for bail four times to both Phatthalung Provincial Court and then the Appeal Court Region 9.
In the second case involving murder in which he was indicted on Feb 7 last year, the court refused his bail request three times, reasoning that the murder charges constituted a severe offence and the defendant was a flight risk.
Phatthalung Provincial Court had scheduled its ruling for Nov 22 but that has now been postponed until Dec 25 following his escape.
The spokesman said courts had acted according to standard legal procedures when considering and refusing the bail requests.
The fugitive's history of involvement in more than 10 serious crimes was also taken into account. If granted bail, the courts feared he might meddle with witnesses or evidence. He also posed a significant flight risk.