Court told to hear Thanet detention case

Court told to hear Thanet detention case

The Appeals Court yesterday reversed a lower court decision which rejected a petition seeking a hearing for the unlawful detention of an anti-government activist.

The petition was filed by Sirawith "Ja New" Seritiwat, leader of the Resistant Citizen group.

He submitted the petition to the Criminal Court on Dec 14 asking it to open a hearing on the detention of Thanet Anantawong. Mr Sirawith said the detention was against the law.

Mr Thanet was among activists who attempted to visit Rajabhakti Park in Hua Hin in early December to stage a protest. They were on a train from Bangkok when soldiers disconnected their carriage at a railway station in Ratchaburi province.

Mr Thanet was held at Sirindhorn Hospital in Bangkok on Dec 13.

He was charged with breaching Section 116 of the Criminal Code for inciting disorder, and violating the Computer Crime Act for allegedly sharing a corruption diagram about the Rajabhakti Park scandal on social media.

The Criminal Court on Dec 15 dismissed the petition, saying there was no proof the detention was unlawful.

However, the Appeals Court yesterday rejected that decision and sent the case back to the Criminal Court for a hearing.

On Dec 18, the Military Court freed Mr Thanet on 100,000-baht-bail under the condition he not take part in any political activity or incite unrest. He was to report to the court every 12 days.

However, Mr Thanet reportedly fled the country and applied for political asylum, according to a video posted online.

On Jan 17, Mr Thanet appeared in an interview with former television anchorman Jom Phetpradab posted on YouTube from an unknown country.

He said he had left Thailand to seek political asylum abroad. He did not name the country he was staying in.

Pavinee Chumsri, a lawyer representing Mr Sirawith, said the date for the hearing has not been set and it was up to the court to consider how to proceed in Mr Thanet's absence.

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