Court denies bail for Joe GordonSubmitted by prachatai on Tue, 14/06/2011 - 12:17
On 13 June, the lawyer and family of Joe Gordon or Lerpong Wichaikhammat petitioned the Criminal Court for bail, citing the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and his urgent need of medical treatment for high blood pressure and gout.
The court dismissed the request, repeating the same reasons it has previously given that the offences damage the reputation of the revered monarchy and the investigators have objected to bail, and so it believes that the suspect, if granted bail, will tamper with evidence.
The lawyer and his family members will make an appeal for bail at the Appeal Court in the next 15 days.
Joe Gordon, a Thai-born American citizen, was arrested by the Department of Special Investigation at his home in Nakhon Ratchasima on 24 May, and has been detained at Bangkok Remand Prison. He has been charged with offences under Sections 112 and 116 of the Criminal Code, and Sections 14 (3) and (5) of the 2007 Computer Crimes Act. The DSI alleges that he is the owner of a blog which offers a Thai translation of the banned book The King Never Smiles, and that he placed links to the book on the now closed Same Sky webboard during 2007–2009.
In the bail request his lawyer and family cited Article 9 of the ICCPR to which Thailand acceded on 19 Oct 1996:
‘Anyone arrested or detained on a criminal charge shall be brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorized by law to exercise judicial power and shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release. It shall not be the general rule that persons awaiting trial shall be detained in custody, but release may be subject to guarantees to appear for trial, at any other stage of the judicial proceedings, and, should occasion arise, for execution of the judgement.’