Military court grants bail to four Khon Kaen Model alleged rebels

The military court allowed four defendants of the ‘Khon Kaen Model’ alleged rebellion case, who had been arrested and detained since late May, to be released on bail due to the defendants’ poor health conditions.  

The nickname ‘Khon Kaen Model’ was given to the case of 26 defendants, mostly elderly, from several provinces in the North East, accused of being hard-core red shirts who planned to rebel against the junta. The alleged planned operation would first be carried out in Khon Kaen, the second largest province in Isan and a stronghold of the red-shirt movement, followed by other provinces in the North and the North East.     

On Monday, the Khon Kaen Military Court released Saneu Nantanagul and Kalayarak Santapan, two defendants accused of planning the rebellion, on bail due to the defendants’ health problems according Wajanakomkrit Sriwarom and Keatupanja Wongsin, lawyers from the Free Thai Legal Aid (FTLA).

Earlier on Friday, the court granted bail to Damrongsak Suthisilp and Phrompat Thanakornkulphipat, two defendants of the same case. One of them have been suffering from valvular heart disease according to Benjarat Meetien, lawyer of 15 defendants, including the two, of the case.

The military court, however, rejected to grant bail to 22 other defendants of the case.

According to a police press conference held in late May, the alleged rebel plan had four stages:

  1. Mobilize as many people as possible

  2. Negotiate with the authorities to have them disarmed

  3. Negotiate with the military

  4. Overthrow the financial institutions and break the banks to give money to the poor. The final stage is codenamed “Zero Debt All over the Land.”

  5. The police added that if the alleged Khon Kaen Model operation was successful, other provinces, especially in the North, would follow.

The 26 red shirts face the following charges:

  1. Defying the order of the junta’s National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) which prohibits gatherings of more than five people

  2. Accumulating weapons, ammunition, and forces and conspiracy to cause terrorism

  3. Collecting weapons for planned terrorist plots

  4. Criminal association

  5. Illegal possession of weapons

  6. Illegal possession of ammunition

  7. Carrying weapons in public

  8. Unauthorized possession of weapons and ammunition

  9. Unauthorized possession of radio communication devices

Benjarat told Prachatai last week that she has filed a petition with the Khon Kaen Military Court to rule whether it has jurisdiction over the cases, while Winyat Chatmontree, another lawyer from the Free Thai Legal Aid (FTLA), who represents the 11 other defendants requested the staff judge advocate to clarify where and how the evidences were collected. He added that the evidences presented by the military are too weak and disproportionate with the severity of the charges.