In an unprecedented decision a military court has granted bail to a 50-year-old cook, accused of possessing illegal weapons after having denied her bail request four times.
This was the second time bail has been granted by a military court to persons accused of committing crimes related to national security. The first concerned a man known by his pen name of Bundit Aneeya, a 73-year-old writer and translator, who was arrested on 26 November for making a comment during a seminar that allegedly defamed the King. Bail was granted due his psychosis and critical health condition.
Chiang Mai Military Court on Tuesday granted bail to Saowani Intalo, a 50-year-old restaurant owner from the northern province of Lamphun, who was accused of possessing illegal weapons, after a lawyer for the accused from the Lanna Justice Group (Yuttitham Lanna) submitted a 500,000 baht (about 15,200 USD) bail request to the court.
Prior to this unprecedented decision, the military court had refused to grant bail to Saowani four times, claiming flight risk, although she suffers from diabetes, heart disease and hypertension, and has to look after her 10-year-old child.
The lawyer for the accused submitted a health certificate and medical records to prove that the defendant was in a poor state of health before the bail was granted on Tuesday.
Saowani was arrested along with Phairat Singkham, 38 years old, during a 26 May raid by military and police forces on a longan farm in the northern province of Lamphun. The authorities reported that five other suspects managed to flee during the raid and that they found illegal weapons, comprising three homemade guns and .22 modified pistols, eight bulletproof vests, radio communication devices, ammunition, and objects with signs of the red-shirt movement.
After the raid, she was detained in a Chiang Mai military camp for one night where she was questioned on whether she had links with red-shirt guards. The prosecutor later charged her with unauthorized possession of weapons, including using and possessing illegal heavy weapons and ammunition before transferring the case to the military court.
She remained in custody from 15 September until she was released on bail.
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