Another activist indicted for demanding Rajabhakti Park probe

The military prosecutor has indicted a youth anti-junta activist for joining a campaign to investigate Rajabhakti Park corruption allegations.

On 27 September 2016, at the Military Court of Bangkok, staff of the Military Judge Advocate General’s Department indicted Chanoknan Ruamsap, a key leader of the New Democracy Movement (NDM), for breaking the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) Head’s Order No. 3/2015, Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) reported.

Section 12 of the order is the junta’s ban on political gatherings of five or more persons.

She was charged with participating in an excursion to Rajabhakti Park in Prachuap Khiri Khan Province on 7 December 2015 to investigate allegations of corruption at the Park. The trip ended after at least 20 activists were intercepted and detained en route to the park.

After the indictment, the Military Court granted 10,000 baht bail to Chanoknan.

Up to now, 11 leading anti-junta activists have been accused of similar charges, but nine in total have been formally indicted.

The 11 activists are; Sirawit Serithiwat, Anon Nampa, Chonticha Jaeng-rew, Chanoknan Ruamsap, Naya-neta Anantawong, Kititach Suman, Wisarut Anupoonkarn, Abhisit Sapnaphapan, Korakoch Saengyenpan, Koranok Kamda, Wijit Hanhaboon.

Out of the 11, Sirawit, Anon, and Cholticha have already been charged for violating the junta’s political gathering ban as a result of their previous political activities.

After a lengthy probe into the park corruption scandal, the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) concluded on 7 September 2016 that no trace of corruption was found in the construction overseen by the Thai army.

But the NACC’s ruling contradicts the statement of Gen Udomdej Sitabutr, Deputy Defence Minister, who admitted in November last year that the project initiated by the Royal Thai Army was rife with corruption — as many media outlets have reported.

Five of the six youth activists calling for an investigation into corruption allegations surrounding the construction of Rajabhakti Park at the Railway Police Station in Thonburi on 8 January 2016: Chanoknan (second from the left)

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