Military bars lawyer from meeting fake royal statement suspect

The military banned a human rights lawyer from meeting a red-shirt suspect accused of publicising the fake Royal Household statement about King Bhumibol, citing martial law. 
 
The statement, falsely claimed to be from the Bureau of the Royal Household, was distributed on Monday night. The statement in part said that King Bhumibol had decided to appoint a Regent to act on his behalf. 
 
Winyat Chatmontree, Secretary of Free Thai Legal Aid (FTLA), revealed on Thursday that the family of Krit B., the suspect, contacted him to represent Krit in the case. He then tried to visit Krit in detention at the 11th Infantry Regiment, but the military did not allow the visit, saying that the suspect was detained under martial law. 
 
“I’d like to impress upon the relevant agencies that although martial law is imposed, the suspect should receive rights and protection under the human rights framework and the [interim] constitution,” said Winyat. 
 
The police have accused Krit of offences under Article 112 of the Criminal Code, or the lèse majesté law, and Article 14 of the Computer Crime Act (for importing illegal content into a computer system.) The police arrested Krit on Wednesday evening and said he was among the first group of people who distributed the fake statement online. 
 
The lawyer said Krit should not face such charges because he was not aware that it was a false statement. 
 
Andrew McGregor Marshall, a former Reuters journalist and Thai political critic, noted that Krit posted the statement 11 minutes after it was published on ASTV-Manager Online, the ultra-royalist online news site. The news outlet’s editor was summoned by police on Wednesday and released seemingly without charge. 
 
“I urge the police investigators to find out who made the false statement and who was the first to post it on social media and that there should be no double standard,” said the lawyer.
 
Krit is a core member of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), the main red-shirt faction, in the central province of Phetchabun. 
 
Worawut Wichaidit, the UDD spokesman, confirmed with the media that Krit is UDD member. He said he saw the charges as unfair, especially when comparing Krit’s case with that of ASTV-Manager.  
The military banned a human rights lawyer from meeting a red-shirt suspect accused of publicising the fake Royal Household statement about King Bhumibol, citing martial law. 
 
The statement, falsely claimed to be from the Bureau of the Royal Household, was distributed on Monday night. The statement in part said that King Bhumibol had decided to appoint a Regent to act on his behalf. 
 
Winyat Chatmontree, Secretary of Free Thai Legal Aid (FTLA), revealed on Thursday that the family of Krit B., the suspect, contacted him to represent Krit in the case. He then tried to visit Krit in detention at the 11th Infantry Regiment, but the military did not allow the visit, saying that the suspect was detained under martial law. 
 
“I’d like to impress upon the relevant agencies that although martial law is imposed, the suspect should receive rights and protection under the human rights framework and the [interim] constitution,” said Winyat. 
 
The police have accused Krit of offences under Article 112 of the Criminal Code, or the lèse majesté law, and Article 14 of the Computer Crime Act (for importing illegal content into a computer system.) The police arrested Krit on Wednesday evening and said he was among the first group of people who distributed the fake statement online. 
 
The lawyer said Krit should not face such charges because he was not aware that it was a false statement. 
 
Andrew McGregor Marshall, a former Reuters journalist and Thai political critic, noted that Krit posted the statement 11 minutes after it was published on ASTV-Manager Online, the ultra-royalist online news site. The news outlet’s editor was summoned by police on Wednesday and released seemingly without charge. 
 
“I urge the police investigators to find out who made the false statement and who was the first to post it on social media and that there should be no double standard,” said the lawyer.
 
Krit is a core member of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), the main red-shirt faction, in the central province of Phetchabun. 
 
Worawut Wichaidit, the UDD spokesman, confirmed with the media that Krit is UDD member. He said he saw the charges as unfair, especially when comparing Krit’s case with that of ASTV-Manager.