Military court grants bail for the first time to bombing suspect

The Military Court granted bail for the first time by temporarily releasing a seven-months pregnant suspect in bombing of the Criminal Court.

The Military Court of Bangkok on Thursday afternoon granted bail to Tatchapan Pokkrong, the 19-year-old wife of Yuttana Yenpinyo, one of the suspects in the bomb attack on the Criminal Court in early March.

Tatchapan is so far the only suspect in the case to have been granted bail.

The court demanded at least 500,000 baht (about 15,216 USD) as security for bail which was granted after Tatchapan’s mother submitted a title deed worth about one million baht (about 30,433 USD) as security.

According to Tatchapan’s mother, the suspect is the mother of a two-year-old son and is seven months pregnant. Moreover, the suspect suffers from thalassemia, a genetic blood disorder, and has to be under special medical care during this time.

Tatchapan was charged with attempted murder, carrying and possessing illegal weapons of war, and planning a bomb attack on Bangkok’s Criminal Court together with her husband.

According to Sasinan Thamnitinan, her defence lawyer from Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), Tatchapan is not interested in politics and is not involved in the case.

The lawyer pointed out that the only connection she has to the case is the fact she is the wife of one of the bombing suspects.

“Tatchapan doesn’t have a smartphone and isn’t interested in politics. She is not a red shirt [anti-establishment activist] and is only the wife of Yuttana. That’s why she became a suspect after her husband was arrested in the [Criminal Court bombing] case. The [police] officers arrested her only because she is [Yuttana’s] wife,” said Sasinan.

At least 15 people were arrested for their alleged involvement in the Bangkok Criminal Court bomb attack, which happened on 7 March.

The police officers primarily used the suspects’ Line accounts, a smartphone chat application, to draw links between each of the suspects.

According to Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR), four suspects in the case, Sansern Sriounruen, Chanwit Chariyanukul, Norapat Luephon and Wichai Yusuk, were tortured in police custody after their arrest between 9 and 15 March 2015.

“The four suspects were subjected to torture including being hit, punched and kicked in the head, chest and back and threatened with assault in order to extract information from them,” said TLHR. “In addition, some suspects were electrocuted, leaving visible marks on their skin while being held in custody under martial law.”