Trial witnesses against Jatupat 'seem to back him'
Khon Kaen: Witnesses testifying against Jatupat Boonpattararaksa seemed to support the anti-coup activist his lawyer said Thursday as prosecutors wrapped up their case against him.
Jatupat, widely known as Pai Dao Din, is on trial at the 23rd Military Circle Court in Khon Kaen over his participation in a political gathering on May 22, 2015 at the Democracy Monument in Muang district of the province.
He is currently serving a sentence of two and a half years for lese majeste after he was convicted of "liking" a Facebook post pointing to a BBCThai biography of the king.
Anon Nampha, a lawyer from the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights group, who represents the Khon Kaen University student, said it was interesting to hear police investigators testifying in a way that appeared to back his client.
The investigators began by telling the judges that a protest against a military coup is rational but there is law prohibiting political gatherings of more than five people, Mr Anon said.
However, they also admitted in court that they thought enforcing a law requiring people wanting to take part in an anti-coup rally to seek permission first was ridiculous, according to the lawyer.
The same investigators also said Jatupat was not a person who deserved to undergo so-called attitude adjustment by the military, but those who supported a military coup should, Mr Anon added.
They also appeared to agree with comments Jatupat made at previous anti-coup events, said the lawyer.
Jatupat was taken back to Khon Kaen Special Correctional Institution at the end of Thursday's hearing. The defence witness hearing is set for May 15.
Wibul and Prim Boonpattararaksa, his parents, greeted him as he left the court, a source said.
Also at the court was pro-democracy activist Sirawith "Ja New" Seritiwat, who said his Democracy Restoration Group planned to march tomorrow to army headquarters to call on it to dissolve the National Council for Peace and Order.