Watana unexpectedly granted conditional bail

Watana unexpectedly granted conditional bail

Ex-Pheu Thai MP Watana Muangsook arrives at Bangkok Military Court on Thursday afternoon. The court detained him for 12 days, then unexpectedly granted him bail of 80,000 baht, banning him from joining his family overseas. (Photo by Apichart Jinakul)
Ex-Pheu Thai MP Watana Muangsook arrives at Bangkok Military Court on Thursday afternoon. The court detained him for 12 days, then unexpectedly granted him bail of 80,000 baht, banning him from joining his family overseas. (Photo by Apichart Jinakul)

A Bangkok Military Court on Thursday approved a police request to detain ex-commerce minister Watana Muangsook for 12 days, then abruptly granted him conditional bail of 80,000 baht.

Mr Watana's lawyer Narinpong Jinapakand said the court released his client on condition he does not commit acts deemed to incite unrest or violating other laws, and banned him from travelling overseas without court permission.

The Pheu Thai Party core member was taken to the court about 3.20pm, where the Crime Suppression Division sought approval to detain him at Bangkok Special Remand Prison for further investigation on a charge of violating the National Council for Peace and Order's order No.39/2557 which bans political activities.

Mr Watana had been detained at the 9th Infantry Division Headquarters (Surasee Base) in Kanchanaburi province since Monday. Soldiers took him to CSD headquarters on Thursday morning to press charges.

Security was tight at the court as several key Pheu Thai members were present to lend moral support to Mr Watana. They included former deputy prime minister Kittiratt Na Ranong, former education minister Chaturon Chaisaeng and former deputy finance minister Tanusak Lek-uthai. 

Mr Narinpong said Mr Watana’s wife and daughter left Thailand earlier today but did not say where they had gone. He claimed the trip had been planned and was not being used as a negotiating tactic for the release of Mr Watana.

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