Court again denies bail for 4 protest leaders

Court again denies bail for 4 protest leaders

Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul (left) and other protest leaders receive roses from supporters as they arrive at the Office of the Attorney-General, where public prosecutors submitted evidence supporting charges against them, on Wednesday. (Photo by Arnun Chonmahatrakool)
Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul (left) and other protest leaders receive roses from supporters as they arrive at the Office of the Attorney-General, where public prosecutors submitted evidence supporting charges against them, on Wednesday. (Photo by Arnun Chonmahatrakool)

The Criminal Court on Wednesday again rejected a request to temporarily release four protest leaders facing royal insult charges.

Their lawyer, Kritsadang Nutcharas, made a third attempt to win bail for Anon Nampa, Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak, Somyot Prueksakasemsuk and Patiwat “Mor Lam Bank” Saraiyaem with a 200,000 baht surety for each of the four.

Mr Kritsadang said the court denied the request, citing the same reasons used for earlier rulings. 

The Criminal Court on Feb 9 and the Court of Appeal on Monday cited the defendants' alleged disrespect for the monarchy and their possible flight risk as reasons to keep them behind bars.

The four protest leaders of the People's Movement, or Ratsadon group, are under detention at Bangkok Remand Prison on charges including lese majeste in connection with the rallies at Sanam Luang on Sept 19-20.

The detention sparked a new series of demonstrations demanding their release, with about 100 supporters marching from Thao Suranaree Monument in Nakhon Ratchasima's Muang district to Government House to show solidarity.

The People's Movement has warned another major rally will take place on Saturday if the government fails to release the protest leaders by then.

Another 17 protesters -- including key leaders Panusaya "Rung" Sithijirawattanakul, Panupong “Mike” Jadnok and Jatupat Boonpattararaksa, also known as Pai Dao Din -- face the same charges.

Chana Songkhram police submitted evidence to support the allegations to public prosecutors at the Office of the Attorney-General on Wednesday. State attorneys set March 8 for a decision on whether they will be indicted.

Ms Panusaya said she had prepared for detention if she and other protesters are indicted and a subsequent bail attempt is denied.

Mr Panupong said the detentions will not derail attempts to stage rallies by pro-democracy protesters.

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