Military Court refuses bail to man suspected of writing lèse majesté messages in mall restrooms

The Military Court rejected the bail request of a man who wrote messages mainly criticizing the junta and allegedly making reference to the king in a shopping mall’s restrooms.

On Monday, the Military Court refused to grant 2.5 million baht bail to Opas C., a 67 year-old man charged with lèse majesté after writing messages criticizing the junta and the Democrat Party and allegedly making reference to HM the King. The Court reasoned that the charges are serious and they could not grant bail because of the flight risk.  

Opas was caught by guards at Seacon Square mall in eastern Bangkok on 15 October and later handed over to the military by mall personnel. He was brought before the press on 17 October and charged with lèse majesté by the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) for writing the following message:

“The government of clowns that robbed the nation, led by f*** Prayut. They have issued ridiculous policies of amateur comedians. Their main job is to use the monarchy (uncle [censored by Prachatai*]). Their main weapon is Article 112. I’m sick of seeing your face [Prayut’s] every day. It tells me that you [Prayut] are near the end because of the looming internal conflict.”

*The censored phrase, allegedly a reference to the King, merely gives a physical description of a person.

At the press briefing last week, Opas, sitting next to Lt Col Burin Thongprapai from the military’s Judge Advocate General’s Office, said he wrote the messages because Thai politics stressed him out and that he was frustrated with the coup and the junta.