Thai court denies bail requests of student protest leaders ‘for fifth time’

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The Criminal Court of Thailand has reportedly rejected the bail requests of four key anti-government protest leaders yet again on Friday.

If verified, this would be the fifth time the quartet have been refused bail.

The bail requests were submitted by protest leaders, Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak, Panusaya “Rung” Sithijirawattanakul, Jatupat “Pai Dao Din” Boon­pattararaksa and Piyarat “Toto” Chongthep.

The bail requests for Mr. Parit and Ms. Panusaya were supported by their lecturers at Thammasat University, where they are students, while the bail request for Mr. Jatupat was supported by one of his lecturers at Mahidol University.

The lecturers appeared in court and testified as to why their students should be released on bail.

Kritsadang Nutcharat, a human rights lawyer representing the detainees, said Mr. Parit, Ms. Panusaya and Mr. Jatupat in particular now needed to be freed so they could sit their exams.

Before the outcome of the hearing was known, Mr. Kritsadang also complained about Mr. Parit’s transfer to Area 5 of the prison, usually designated for inmates already convicted. He condemned the transfer, saying Mr Parit should still be considered innocent.

The lawyer also said he had demanded an explanation from senior Department of Corrections officials but has had no reply from them over the matter.

Mr. Kritsadang said he learned about Mr. Parit’s transfer from another lawyer who had visited him at the prison.

Pol Maj Gen Piya Tawichai, deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB), meanwhile, reiterated a warning to anti-government protesters against them occupying Government House and other places declared off-limits to them.

His warning came on the eve of today’s protest march from the Democracy Monument to Government House.

Following previous violent acts by certain sub-groups of the anti-government movement, police detectives are now closely monitoring the protesters and will film them at today’s demonstration to build up evidence for later prosecutions should they ever break the law again, he said.

These groups include Daeng Kao Na (move forward red), a vocational group, and the We Volunteer (WeVo) group.

The groups earlier said their “ultimate” rally would start at Democracy Monument at 2pm before marching to Government House, where they would stage a prolonged protest.

They also announced they would “build a Talu Fah (beyond the sky) Village” but did not identify the exact location. (Source: Bangkok Post)

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