Military court postpones deposition hearing of 4 embattled democracy activists

The Military Court postponed the deposition hearing of four embattled democracy activists accused of violating the junta’s ban on public gatherings because additional testimony on the case has not yet been collected.  

Bangkok’s Military Court on Wednesday postponed the deposition examination of four democracy activists who were charged with defying the junta’s National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) Order No. 7/2014 by holding a political gathering of more than five people on 14 February. If found guilty, the four could be jailed for one year and fined up to 20,000 baht.

The four activists are Sirawit Serithiwat, a student activist from Thammasat University, Pansak Srithep, a pro-democracy activist and the father of a boy killed by the military during the 2010 political violence, Anon Numpa, a human rights lawyer who volunteers for Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), and Wannakiet Chusuwan, a pro-democracy activist and taxi driver.

(From left) Pansak Srithep, Sirawit Serithiwat, Anon Numpa, and Wannakiet Chusuwan speaking to the media after they were released on bail in the early hours of 15 February 2015 (Photo courtesy of Thai Lawyers for Human Rights)

The deposition hearing was rescheduled for 10:00 am on 14 May 2015.  

The military court said that the prosecutor requested postponement of the deposition hearing because four more persons need to testify in the case as the defendants demanded.

Last month, Anon, one of the defendants who is also a lawyer, requested that additional testimony from four renowned anti-junta academics, Nidhi Eoseewong, Prapart Pintoptang, Chaiwat Satha-Anand, and Somchai Preechasilpakul, needed to be collected.

Of the four defendants, Anon faces additional allegations of importing false information into a computer system which may damage national security under Article 14 (2) of the Computer Crime Act. The Computer Crime charges were initially filed by the Judge Advocate General himself. If found guilty, Anon faces up to 25 years in jail and a fine of up to 500,000 baht.