IMG_2016-07-27 11:51:37On 27 July 2016, 09:30, Ms. Sirikan Charoensiri (aka. Lawyer June) reported herself to a public prosecutor at the Office of Prosecutor of Dusit District in Bangkok to hear if the prosecutor has made a prosecution or non-prosecution order in the case that she was charged of concealing evidence and refusing to comply with an order of competent official, offences under Section 142 (imprisonment not exceeding three years) and Section 368 (imprisonment not exceeding one month) of the Criminal Code, respectively. The prosecutor postponed the hearing of prosecution order due to ongoing investigation.

The prosecutor advised that the case file has been sent to the police for further investigation after Ms. Sirikan submitted a letter of petition dated 12 May 2016 which requested for more witnesses to be investigated. According to the prosecutor, he has ordered the police to call two witnesses for investigation, despite Sirikan’s request to summon five witnesses including members of the New Democracy Movement (NDM), her clients, Ms. Charoensiri herself, Ms. Yaowalak Anuphan, the Head of the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) and the inquiry official who had received the case reported by her for accusing that the police had committed malfeasance. The prosecutor set 31 August 2016 as the timeframe within which police should return the case file and witnesses’ statements to the prosecutor office.

Therefore, the prosecutor scheduled that Sirikan is to report herself again on 29 September 2016, 9:30 am, at the Office of Prosecutor of Dusit District in Bangkok. This is the second postponement of hearing of the prosecution order. In case of ordering a prosecution order to indict Sirikan to court, the prosecutor will need an approval from the Office of the Attorney General. In case of ordering a non-prosecution order, the prosecutor will need an approval from the Royal Thai Police.

Background

Ms. Sirikan Charoensiri (aka. June) is a lawyer from the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights and one of the legal representatives for the 14 activists from the New Democracy Movement (NDM). On the night of 26-27 June 2015, after finishing her duty of providing legal assistance to the 14 activists at the Bangkok Military Court, Sirikan was requested by police officials to search her car to confiscate some mobile phones, which the students left with the lawyers before being brought to the prisons. Sirikan refused to let her car be searched, since the officials did not present a search warrant, and there was no justifiable evidence to conduct the search without a warrant at night. The officials then impounded her car overnight, and brought a court warrant to conduct the search on 27 June 2015. Sirikan later filed a complaint of malfeasance, under Section 157 of the Thai Criminal Code, against Pol.Lt. Gen. Chayapol Chatchayadetch and others for illegally impounding her car. Consequently, the police filed complaints against her, accusing her of refusing to comply with an official order without any reasonable cause or excuse after being informed of an order of an official given according to the power invested by law, and an offence of concealing or making away of property or document ordered by the official to be sent as evidence or for execution of the law, under Sections 368 and 142 of the Thai Criminal Code, and an offence of giving false information concerning a criminal offence to an inquiry official to subject an individual to a punishment under Sections 172 and 174 of the Criminal Code.At this time, Ms. Sirikan is not charged by police with two offences of filing a false police report. However, it is probable that the police will summon her to inform the charges again.

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