Military court grants bail to ASTV-Manager editor facing lèse majesté

In the case of the forged royal statement, a red-shirt suspect has to stay in jail because he cannot afford bail, while the ultra-royalist yellow-shirt media web editor walks free after being granted bail by the military court. It is considered rare for a lèse majesté suspect to be granted bail by a military court.

The military court of Bangkok on Tuesday approved custody for Krit B., an anti-establishment red-shirt lèse majesté suspect accused of distributing a forged statement of the Bureau of the Royal Household, over the suspect’s objection, and sent him to Bangkok Remand Prison for the first detention period of 12 days.

According to Winyat Chatmontri, the lawyer from Free Thai Legal Aid (FTLA) representing Krit, the police reasoned they have to interrogate 10 more witnesses and also collect other technical evidence. The suspect could not find sufficient money to submit a bail request.     

On the same day, however, the military court granted 2.9 million baht bail to Niran Yaowapa, the former editor of the ultra-royalist ASTV-Manager Online news, who was also accused of circulating the same forged royal statement on the news website. The incident caused ASTV-Manager to demote Niran from the post of editor.

The court cited the facts that Niran reported to the police and that there is no flight risk.

Krit and Niran were accused of offences under Article 112 of the Criminal Code and offences under Article 14 of the Computer Crime Act (distributing false information on a computer system) for distributing the fake statement on 2 February which said King Bhumibol had decided to appoint a Regent to act on his behalf.

Krit is an active member of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), the main faction of the anti-establishment red shirts.

 

See related news:

Man arrested for fake Royal Household statement

Police summon news editor for publishing fake royal statement