Surviving LM suspect appears in court

Surviving LM suspect appears in court

Jirawong Watthanathewasilp is taken from the Military Court on Lak Muang Road, Bangkok, after his third detention was approved on Friday. (Photo by Apichart Jinakul)
Jirawong Watthanathewasilp is taken from the Military Court on Lak Muang Road, Bangkok, after his third detention was approved on Friday. (Photo by Apichart Jinakul)

Lese majeste suspect Jirawong Watthanathewasilp appeared at Military Court in Bangkok on Friday as authorities sought his further detention.

Officials asked that Mr Jirawong be held for another 12 days - his third detention span -- pending investigation of charges he and two other suspects, both of whom have died in police custody, cited the monarchy in business dealings connected the "Bike for Mom" and "Bike for Dad" cycling events.

Mr Jirawong appeared calm despite the heavy guard he was under.

After the recent deaths of two alleged accomplices -- Pol Maj Prakrom Warunprapa and fortune teller Suriyan "Mor Yong" Sucharitpolwong - the Corrections Department was forced to refute rumours that the only remaining suspect in custody also had perished.

He is being held at a temporary prison at the 11th Military Circle on Rama V Road in Bangkok's Dusit district.

Mr Jirawong, 29, was last seen on Oct 21 when he, his late boss Suriyan, 53, and Pol Maj Prakrom, 44, were brought before the Military Court for their initial detention request.

The police officer reportedly hung himself in his cell on Oct 23 and Suriyan died of a blood infection on Saturday. Both also had been detained at the 11th Military Circle.

The three men allegedly committed 13 offences, in most cases making false claims that they represented a member of the royal institution and had been commissioned to create commemorative pins for the royal biking events.

They allegedly demanded kickbacks worth a total 5.9 million baht for pin supply contracts.


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