Bangkok Military Court on Monday sentenced an anti-coup protester to six months in jail and sentenced red-shirt figure ‘Tom Dundee’ to a year in jail for not reporting as ordered by the junta. The sentences were halved and suspended because they pleaded guilty. Meanwhile, Nitirat academic Worachet Pakeerut, renowned unionist Jittra Cotchadet, and a former Pheu Thai MP denied allegations that they violated the coup makers’ orders.
The Military Court found Anurak Jentavanit, a red-shirt activist, guilty of violating martial law by joining an anti-coup gathering in front of the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, Siam Square, on May 23, a day after the coup, and sentenced him to six months in jail and a fine of 10,000 baht. However, since the defendant pleaded guilty, the sentence was halved to three months and a fine of 5,000 baht. The jail term was suspended for two years.
In another case, the Military Court found Thanat Thanawatcharanon, aka Tom Dundee, a country singer-turned-red-shirt activist, guilty of not reporting as ordered by the junta and sentenced him to a year in jail and a fine of 20,000 baht. Since Thanat pleaded guilty, the sentence was halved to six months in jail and a fine of 10,000 baht. The jail term was suspended for two years.
The red-shirt figure, however, will have to return to the cells at the Bangkok Remand Prison because he also faces charges under Article 112, or the lèse majesté law, and under the Computer Crime Act. The police accused Thanat of giving speeches deemed to defame the monarchy at red-shirt rallies in 2013. The court has denied his bail requests.
Meanwhile, Jittra Cotchadet, a red-shirt and union activist, denied allegations that she violated the junta’s order at the Military Court on Monday. The court scheduled the first hearing on 9 December.
On 1 June the junta’s National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) summoned Jittra to report along with 26 others. Because she was on a trip to Sweden, she later flew back and turned herself in a few weeks later. While in Sweden, Jittra submitted a letter to the Royal Thai Embassy and the NCPO, explaining that she would report to the junta on her return to Thailand.
Worachet Pakeerut, law professor at Thammasat University, and leading member of the Nitirat academic group, denied allegations that he violated the NCPO’s orders by not reporting on time.
Worachet was summoned twice on 24 May and 9 June. On 10 June, Patcharin Pakeerut, Worachet’s wife, reported to the NCPO that the academic was suffering from an illness. On 17 June, Worachet flew from Hong Kong and turned himself in to the military.
Sanguan Pongmanee, former Pheu Thai MP for northern Lamphun Province, denied an allegation that he violated the junta’s order before the Military Court on Monday. The NCPO ordered the 70-year-old ex-MP to report on 10 June. He later turned himself in on 25 June.