Lawyers fundraise bail for witness of 2010 crackdown charged with royal defamation

A lawyer organisation has initiated crowdfunding to bail a l?se majest? suspect who witnessed the 2010 military crackdown on the red-shirt protest and who has been in detention for over three years.
Winyat Chatmontri, Secretary General of United Lawyers for Rights & Liberty (ULRL), revealed that they are planning to submit another bail request for Natthida ‘Waen’ Miwangpa, a l?se majest? and terrorist suspect.
Nutthida ‘Waen’ Meewangpla
Waen, a former volunteer nurse, is a crucial witness in the extrajudicial killing of six individuals by state authorities at Wat Pathum Wanaram temple during the crackdown operation against the red-shirt protesters in Bangkok on 19 May 2010.
Arrested and accused of terrorism and royal defamation, Waen has been detained for over three years, and the court has repeatedly denied her bail requests.
Waen was accused of being involved in the 2015 bombing of the Criminal Court in Bangkok, said Winyat. The accusation stems from a transfer of 5,000 baht from Surapol Iam-suwan, another terrorist suspect, into Waen’s bank account. Waen argued that she merely borrowed the money from Surapol to pay the rent for her laundry business.
In July 2017, the Bangkok Military Court released her and three other suspects charged with terrorism on bail. However, Waen was further detained for violating Article 112 of the Criminal Code, the l?se majest? law. The evidence was a screenshot of her chatroom in the Line Application.
The lawyer argued that the evidence is weak, as Waen’s communication devices have been confiscated since her arrest on 11 March 2015, but the alleged message was uploaded about a week later. He believes that this reason might increase the chance of bail for Waen.
Winyat Chatmontri
Winyat added that the prosecution of the terrorism charge had not progressed much during the past years. The public prosecutor indicted her in June 2015 and planned to call over 30 witnesses, but only about 10 witnesses have been called so far. Likewise, the public prosecutor indicted her for royal defamation two years after her arrest warrant was issued on 18 March 2015 and the first witness testimony will take place on 4 May 2018.
Since Waen lives alone and comes from a low-income family, the ULRL has to prepare about 900,000 baht to bail her out on the two charges -- 400,000 baht for the terrorism charge and 500,000 baht for the l?se majest? charge.
Winyat further added that the ULRL is facing a deficit due to its previous legal assistance to Thai political prisoners. He pleaded for donations from the public.
Those who are interested can find more information on the ULRL Facebook page or directly donate to Kasikornbank account no. 039-3-80178-6, in the names of “Kanphat Singthong and Suphawat Thaksin.”
Waen rescues a crackdown victim at Wat Pathum Wanaram Temple


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