Court throws out police request to detain 'Rung'

Court throws out police request to detain 'Rung'

Pathumwan police officers show Panusaya
Pathumwan police officers show Panusaya "Rung" Sithijirawattanakul documents on Saturday as they seek to detain her for her role at two rallies in their jurisdiction in June. ( Photo courtesy of TLHR Facebook)

The Pathumwan District Court on Monday rejected a police request to detain protest leader Panusaya "Rung" Sithijirawattanakul for further questioning in two cases in which she is charged with violating the Public Assembly Act of 2015.

Ms Panusaya was a leader of two demonstrations on the skywalk over the Pathumwan intersection on June 5 and June 22 demanding justice for Wanchalerm Satsaksit, 37, a human right activist who took a political refuge in Cambodia. Mr Wanchalerm was reportedly abducted by a group of men from in front of a condominium in Phnom Penh.

The court found that there are two other suspects in the cases. The police had finished the questioning of the two and submitted an interrogation report to the prosecutors.

As for Ms Panusya, the police were waiting only for the result of the examination of her criminal record. Moreover, she was only a student with a permanent residence. So, there were no reason to believe she would escape or meddle in the evidence or witnesses.

The court dismissed the police request to detain her further for questioning. It also gave the police six days until Nov 7 to prosecute her in court or revoke the arrest warrant.

Ms Panusaya is hospitalised at Praram 9 Hospital in Bangkok after she was temporarily released by a court order on Friday. Ayutthaya police tried to detain her further but the provincial court also dismissed their request on Saturday.

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