3 Sep 2020 – The Ratchadaphisek Criminal Court saw the hearing of the Samran Rat Police Station inquiry officer, who had submitted a request to revoke the bail granted for Mr. Anon Nampa and Panupong ‘Mike’ Jadnok in the #FreeYouth case.
The background for the hearing was the arrest of the two activists on 7 and 8 Aug 2020 following their participation in a rally organized by Free Youth Group on 18 Jul 2020. However, during the detention process, the court granted them bail under the conditions that they “must not partake in any activities similar to the allegation in the case, or else the bail conditions are considered breached”.
(Image of the #ThammasatWillNotTolerate Rally on 10 Aug 20)
During the bail period, Mr. Anon continued to give speeches planned prior to his arrest, including at the #ChiangMaiWillNotTolerate rally on 9 Aug 2020. Both of them also attended the #ThammasatWillNotTolerate rally on 10 Aug 2020, which prompted Pol.Lt.Col. Jittima Tongchai, the inquiry officer, to submit a request to the Criminal Court to have the bail revoked.
>>Uncovering the request to revoke Anon-Mike’s bail: state discretion must not be used to restrict citizen’s rights https://tlhr2014.com/?p=21101
The two cases of Anon and Panupong were tried separately in a separate room. In both rooms, the court examined the request applicant, the Samran Rat Police Station inquiry officer, and one defendant’s witness each, Anon and Panupong themselves. The judges in both rooms set to read the order at around 3 PM.
Court points out Mike violates bail conditions, increases bail and requires report every 15 days.
(Image from iLaw)
At around 4:25 PM, the Court read the order for the case of Panupong Jadnok. The judges in charge were Mr. Chaisak Kongrit and Mrs. Yukin Tepnoo.
After deliberating the supporting evidence from the request applicant and the objection from the suspect’s lawyer, the court was of the following opinions: the provisions related to bail according to the last paragraph of the section 108 the Criminal Procedure Code not only allow the court to grant bail to the suspect, but may also use discretion to specify any conditions for the person getting bailed in order to prevent potential dangers or damages from such release.
On 8 August 2020, the suspect was released on bail under the conditions that they not pursue any acts similar to what has been accused, or they constitute a violation.
However, on 10 August 2020, the suspect took on stage to speak at Thammasat University, Rangsit Campus, whose content appeared in the applicant’s evidence. The defendant could not produce any evidences to the court to prove that the statements in the applicant’s transcription did not match his actual words at the place of incident. He merely admitted that on the alleged date and time and location they had given a speech, but they could not recall what was being said.
Moreover, when considering the motives for the detention request submitted by the inquiry officer from Klong Luang Police Station to the Thanyaburi Provincial Court following the suspect’s political public speech, in which the court issued the detention warrant no. Jor 324/2563 dated 14 August 2020, which contained the same accusations as in the applicant’s bail revocation request, as appeared in the additional evidence dated today, the court had sufficient reasons to believe that the suspect had in fact given a speech containing the statements in the transcription.
The annex document asked the court to revoke the bail on grounds of committing a public act by verbal means, which did not fall within the purpose of the Constitution or an expression of an honest opinion or criticism, in order to cause unrest and disaffection amongst the people in a manner likely to cause disturbance in the country or cause the people to transgress the laws of the Country. The act appeared to be similar to the one that led to the detention request and allegation against the suspect in the first place, which was explicitly prohibited by the bail conditions. This means, the bail conditions had thus been breached.
However, taking into account the age, occupation, and nature of action, which showed that the suspect has yet to cause any harms to the investigation or judicial process, the court deemed appropriate to give the suspect another chance. Nevertheless, the court increased the bail to 200,000 Baht and required that the suspect report himself every 15 days starting from today. If the suspect does not comply with the order, his bail will be revoked, and he will be detained.
Court revokes Anon’s bail claiming condition violation.
(Anon before the court read the result of the request to have his bail revoked. Picture by Banrasdr Photo)
At the same time, at around 4.25 PM, the judges in Anon’s case, Mr. Jumpol Rattathanapas, Mr. Chaicharat Chukaew, and Ms. Weethicha Tangrattanawalee, read the verdict from the morning’s hearing.
After deliberating the evidences presented by the applicant and the objection to the bail revocation request by the defendant, the court did not see any conflicts in their statements. The fact was understood as follows: on 9 August 2020, the suspect attended the #FreeYouthPeople rally in Chiang Mai and gave a speech as appeared in the transcription of the speech for the protestors.
On 10 August 2020, the suspect attended the #ThammasatWillNotTolerate rally and gave a speech as appeared in the transcription of the speech for the protestors.
The group of inquiry officers from a police station in Pathum Thani province has requested an arrest warrant of the suspect because the suspect had attended the #ThammasatWillNotTolerate rally and gave a public speech, as appeared in the arrest warrant no. Jor 325/2563 of Thanyaburi Provincial Court.
On 8 August 2020, the court issued an order to temporarily release the suspect on bail under the conditions that he not commit any acts deemed similar to the allegation in his case. However, as the suspect was the same person as one of the suspects in the arrest warrant issued by the Thanyaburi Provincial Court, which accused the suspect of having committed a public act by verbal, written, or other means not within the purpose of the constitution or an honest expression of opinions or criticism in order to cause unrest and disaffection amongst the people in a manner likely to cause disturbance in the country or cause the people to transgress the laws of the Country, it has proven that the suspect had violated the bail conditions. In order to prevent the suspect from causing further harms, it was deemed appropriate to issue an order revoking his bail and detaining him during the investigation process.
Mike-Anon reject reapplying for bail, vowed to continue fighting behind bars.
The court stated that the revocation of the bail did not deprive the suspect’s right to reapply for it. However, Anon informed the court that he decided not to do so because speaking at public rallies was an exercise of liberties, not a crime, that he was willing to sacrifice his personal freedom for his ideology, and that he reiterated that what was happening to the students was wrong.
At 4.30 PM, Anon published a letter on his Facebook account reading “I am glad to have fought alongside everyone. We have come very far. Keep on walking forward with courage. My duties outside of jail are over. I am betting everything on the change resulting from this 19 September. Please assure me that we are on the right path. I believe in all of you. [signature] 3 Sep 20, The Criminal Court.”
Moreover, before the hearing ended, Anon told the court, “We have reached the point where we have collectively seen the problems and we are proposing solutions. I’d be happy to give up everything, including my personal freedom. We have reached the point where we have to talk about this issue openly with good will for the country. The students and I do not have ill intentions.”
In Panupong’s courtroom, while he was deciding whether he would accept the new bail conditions, he made a phone call to his mother. He was explaining to his mother that if he accepted the new bail conditions today, what he had been fighting for might be for nothing. So, his mother agreed with his decision.
Panupong shed tears after the conversation with his mother and decided to not accept the new bail conditions imposed by the court to increase the bail amount.
At 4.40 PM, Panupong wrote a text and posted on his Facebook account reading, “The democracy movement has begun its journey, when everyone realized that the elites in our society today are over-indulging in power. In this journey, we, with our democratic ideology, share the same destination, which is to fight against injustice and inequality, as well as the feudal components that have been corroding the democratic system.”
“If, during this journey, the movement loses some people, may everyone maintain their faith in our shared goal. Do not waste time waiting for anyone. May you keep fighting to bring victory to our struggles. Loss of freedom is to be expected by any fighters along the way. No matter whether I get freedom or not, I believe in all of you that you will be able to keep walking and will achieve our victory that we have been fighting for.”
At 5:15 PM, both suspects were brought to the court lobby. The police had prepared two police cars to lead the prisoner transport vehicle of the Department of Corrections. The police also closed the metal gate and did not allow the lawyers, suspects’ relatives, and supporters, who were waiting outside, to see the suspects.
At 5:20 PM, Anon and Panupong were taken out of the Criminal Court to the Bangkok Remand Prison.
As the Samran Rat Police Station inquiry officer and public prosecutor submit the motion to detain the suspects in custody during the investigation, both suspects may be detained for 21 days until 24 Sep 20. According to the section 87 of the Criminal Procedure Code, in the case of offence liable to the imprisonment not more than ten years, the court shall be authorized order several successive detentions not exceeding 12 days each, but the total period shall not exceed 48 days.
*Note: the cover picture of this article is by Banrasdr Photo.
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