Shoe repairer charged with lèse majesté and denied bail

A shoe repairer has been charged with lèse majesté and denied bail for calling 191 to make a bomb threat against Siriraj Hospital.

On 6 Oct, the Criminal Court approved a police request to remand Suriyan Kokpuey for a further 12 days from 6-17 Oct.

Suriyan, 29, a resident of Yasothon in the northeast, was arrested by police in Bangkok on 4 Oct.  He was alleged to have made a call from a public telephone booth in front of the Army’s Channel 5 television station in Sanam Pao, Phaya Thai, on 30 Sept to the police 191 call centre, threatening to place a bomb at Siriraj Hospital, and making offensive remarks against the monarchy.  He was charged by police for offences under the Penal Code Section 112 on lèse majesté, and Section 392 on threatening others through intimidation.

In its request to the court, the police said that the suspect had been detained for almost 48 hours, but the investigation had yet to be completed, as 15 more witnesses still had to be interrogated and the suspect’s fingerprints had to be examined against police criminal records.  As this is an important case, involving offences against national security and the monarchy, and carrying severe penalties, the police asked for the suspect to be further held on remand and objected to bail, fearing that he might flee or tamper with the evidence.

Captures from surveilance camera in front of army's Channel 5 TV station (photo from ASTV-Manager)

The suspect reportedly made no objections, and had no relatives to request bail.  He then was sent to Bangkok Remand Prison.

According to reports, Suriyan was initially charged on arrest on 4 Oct with threatening others through intimidation, which carries a maximum jail sentence of one month or fine of 1,000 baht, or both, but he was additionally charged with lèse majesté on 5 Oct.

According to the police, he confessed that he did it on a whim, and had joined the red-shirt rallies at Ratchaprasong and other places.

He worked at a shoe repair shop near the TV station.