Criminal court postpones deposition hearing of ‘Men in Black’ for 4th time

The Criminal Court on Monday morning postponed for the fourth time the deposition hearing of the ‘Men in Black’ suspects, who were allegedly involved in violence during the military crackdown on red shirts on 10 April 2010, due to disagreements on the prosecution side on whether to file terrorism charges.

According to Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), the postponement is due to a disagreement between the public prosecutor and the Department of Special Investigation (DSI), who is overseeing investigation of the case.

The prosecutors found that the evidence to file terrorism charges against the five is insufficient, but the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) decided to press these charges.

Moreover, the public prosecutors on the case pointed out that the DSI submitted the case file to the prosecutor’s office only last Thursday and that the investigating officers in the case were also changed, TLHR reported.    

The DSI Director-General will make a final judgement on whether to file terrorism charges against the five suspects.

It has been about eight months since the suspects were arrested and detained, but the first trial has not yet started.

The prosecutors will submit the case file to the court on 12 May and the deposition hearing was rescheduled to 18 May 2015, according to TLHR.

The five suspects were earlier indicted for possession of unauthorized and illegal weapons of war, such as M79 grenade launchers, M16s, HK33s and explosive devices.

The five suspects are:  

- Kittisak Soomsri, 45, a Bangkok native

- Preecha Yooyen, 24, from northern Chiang Mai Province

- Ronnarit Suricha, 33, from northeastern Ubon Ratchathani Province

- Chamnan Pakeechai, 45, from Bangkok

- Punika Chusri, 39, from Bangkok

The five have remained in custody since September last year. The court repeatedly denied the suspects’ bail requests, citing the severity of the crime and flight risk.

 

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