Submitted on Fri, 19 May 2017 - 02:59 PM
After over two years in jail, a man suspected of bombing a Thai court has been released on bail, since no witnesses have testified to his guilt.
On 18 May 2017, Bangkok Military Court released Sansern Sriounruen after his family offered a 6 million baht land deed as surety for bail. He is one of 16 suspected of being behind the bombing of Bangkok Criminal Court on 7 March 2014. He was detained for two years and two months.
Sansern’s lawyer Saowaluk Pothngam petitioned the court to release him, arguing that after seven witness hearings, no one has testified that her client committed the crime. The court approved the petition.
Sansern in detention
In 2016, police arrested 11 males and five females for allegedly taking part in the blast. Sansern was arrested on 9 March and immediately sent to the army’s Provost Marshal General's Department.
He told Prachatai that while he was detained at the Department, the authorities handcuffed him and covered his head with a black bag to force him to plead guilty. After 7 days in military detention, Sansern was sent to Bangkok Remand Prison on 16 March, beginning his two years’ imprisonment.
Four of the suspects revealed to Thai Lawyers for Human Rights that soldiers tortured them to force them to plead guilty while they were detained under Martial Law. They were punched in the belly and kicked in the head, chest and back. Some of them were tasered to force a confession. Sansern stated that he was tasered on his legs about 30 or 40 times, leaving numerous burn marks on his body.
The court is currently examining witnesses. So far seven out of the prosecution’s 87 witnesses have been summoned.
Sansern shows marks of torture