Jatupat's seventh bail request denied

Jatupat's seventh bail request denied

The family and lawyers of lese majeste suspect Jatupat Boonpattararaksa on Wednesday vowed to keep on appealing to secure bail for the 25-year-old after their seventh request was rejected by a court.

Sangchai Rattanaseriwong, one of the two lawyers for Mr Jatupat, said he had submitted a bail request along with a surety of 700,000 baht, asking the Khon Kaen provincial court to overturn its  order which withdrew his client's bail for violating his release conditions.

“The court took less than 20 minutes in considering our petition and again ruled it would not allow temporary release for Mr Jatupat,” Mr Sangchai said. 

He said the latest denial came even though the lawyers increased the surety from 400,000 cash to 700,000 baht and had prominent social critic Sulak Sivaraksa as a second bail guarantor, apart from Mr Jatupat's father, Wiboon Boonpattararaksa. 

The well-respected scholar and thinker has faced lese majeste lawsuits several times in past decades. 

Mr Sangchai said the bail request was also submitted along with letters from academics and people with credibility which confirmed Mr Jatupat would not flee the trial or do anything of concern. 

They are Kotom Areeya, director of the Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies (IHRP), Mahidol University; Ekkapan Pintawanich of the same institute; and former National Human Rights commissioner Niran Pitakwatchara.

“We have done everything to make sure all the concerns previously stated by the court will not arise but it hasn’t yet approved the bail plea,” the lawyer said. 

“We will continue to appeal the court of first instance’s order.”  

Mr Jatupat, better known as Pai Dao Din of Dao Din student movement, has been indicted on charges of lese majeste and violation of the Computer Crime Act after he shared a BBC Thai article on the life of His Majesty the King on his Facebook posts on Dec 2, with an added comment. The student activist from Khon Kaen University was arrested the next day.

He was released on bail on Dec 4, but it was later revoked and he was remanded in custody at the Khon Kaen prison on Dec 22. All subsequent requests for bail have been rejected.

Mr Jatupat denied the charges and decided to fight the case in court. The court set March 21 for the pretrial examination of evidence and witness lists.

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