Law academic Worachet tried in military court

The Bangkok military court on Tuesday held the first witness hearing in the case where Worachet Pakeerut, courageous law academic from Thammasat University, is accused of twice defying the coup makers’ orders to report in. 
Observers from Thai and international human rights organizations and the US and German Embassies came to observe the trial. 
The public prosecutor filed two charges against Worachet for defying NCPO Orders No. 5/2014, issued on 24 May 2014, and No. 57/2014, issued on 9 June 2014. On 10 June 2014, Worachet’s wife reported on his behalf that Worachet was sick and would meet with the military later. On 16 June 2014, the police arrested Worachet when he voluntarily flew back from Hong Kong. 
Worachet complained to the court that the prosecutor should have filed only one charge for defying Order No. 57. The law academic said by issuing the new order, the old one was automatically nullified. 
Facing two charges, Worachet faces a maximum jail term of four years. 
Lt Col Burin Thongprapai of the military's Judge Advocate General's Office testified to the court as a prosecution witness. Burin said that on behalf of the Army he filed a complaint against Worachet without knowing that Worachet’s wife had reported the health issue.  
After the hearing, about ten Thammasat University students gave him moral support. 


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