Pai Dao Din bailed after lese majeste charge

Pai Dao Din bailed after lese majeste charge

The Khon Kaen Provincial Court on Sunday approved bail for anti-junta activist Jatupat ‘Pai Dao Din’ Boonpattararaksa, who is charged with lese majeste and breaching computer laws for sharing an offensive link about His Majesty the King on Facebook.

Mr Jatupat was released on a surety of 400,000 baht on Saturday and ordered to report to Muang Khon Kaen police station within 12 days. He is the first person charged with a lese majeste offence in the reign of the Kingdom's new monarch.

According to his lawyer and father Wiboon Boonpattararaksa, the bail request was backed by the fact that Mr Jatupat was already a suspect in four cases and facing multiple charges brought by authorities including defying the regime's ban on political gatherings, but he had never shown flight risk behaviour. 

Mr Jarupat is a fourth-year Khon Kaen University law student and he only had to sit the last examination on Dec 8 in order to complete his tertiary education. 

The court initially approved a police request to detain the 25-year-old activist for 12 days for further investigation but later granted him bail.  

Mr Jatupat was arrested at a temple in his home province of Chaiyaphum on Saturday morning after he allegedly shared a link on Facebook to a BBC Thai profile of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, who formally ascended the throne on Thursday following the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej on Oct 13. Police were acting on a complaint filed by Lt Col Pitakpol Chusri, an officer of the 23rd Army Circle.

Anon Chawalawan of iLaw, a legal monitoring group, earlier said the post was shared many times by many people and believed Mr Jarupat was arrested because of his participation in previous anti-junta protests.

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