On 27 April 2016, Ms. Sirikan (“June”) Charoensiri, a lawyer at Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, received a summons to report to the public prosecutor at the Office of Special Prosecutor at Subdistrict 3 Court (Dusit) in Bangkok on 12 May 2016 at 10.00.
Under Thai law, after the police have concluded an investigation and decide to proceed with a case, they announce the date on which the case file and the charged person will be presented to the public prosecutor. The public prosecutor will then decide whether to prosecute the case or issue a non-prosecution order.
If the public prosecutor decides to issue a prosecution order, he must seek the permission from the Attorney General according to Articles 7 and 9 of the Act on Establishment of District Courts and District Court Procedure 1956. The Act does not indicate the timeframe within which the Attorney General must give permission to issue prosecution order.
The summons relates the case in which June was charged, on 9 February 2016, with concealing evidence and refusing to comply with an order of a competent official, offences under Section 142 (imprisonment not exceeding three years) and Section 368 (imprisonment not exceeding one month) of the Criminal Code, respectively.
Progress of Sirikan’s other cases
- The case that Ms. Sirikan filed a complaint against Pol.Lt. Gen. Chayapol Chatchayadetch for Malfeasance, an offence under Section 157 of the Thai Criminal Code, for arbitrarily impounding Sirikan’s car overnight as she refused to let her car be searched without a court order – under the investigation of the National Anti-Corruption Commission.
- The criminal charges against Ms. Sirikan of filing a false police report, an offence under Section 172 (imprisonment not exceeding two years) and Section 174 (imprisonment not exceeding five years) of Criminal Code – As the inquiry official was informing Ms. Sirikan of the charges on 9 February 2016, Sirikan’s lawyer asked the inquiry official on the detail of the alleged offence. The inquiry official failed to indicate which information Sirikan had filed a report was false. So Ms. Sirikan refused to be informed of the charges in this case. The inquiry official did not yet press the charges against her and shall question the accuser for clarification of which information was false as alleged. The inquiry official will summon Sirikan to inform these charges later. 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.
Ms. Sirikan Charoensiri 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.