Political activist Chayaphol ‘Dave’ Danothai

Warrant withdrawn after ‘scapegoat protest’

On 15 January, the court accepted a request from the police to withdraw an erroneous arrest warrant against political activist Chayaphol ‘Dave’ Danothai after he went to Klong Luang Police Station for questioning with a goat.

The goat was covered in a red cloth with the number 112 in gold, signifying Section 112 of the Criminal Code (the lèse majesté law). Inthira ‘Sine’ Charoenpura, a pro-democracy celebrity, posted on Facebook that she was the one who sent goats to support Chayaphol. Their names are Sujira Anuchid and Songsit.

In front of the police station, Chayaphol said he saw his name on a search warrant as an accomplice riding a motorcycle and spraying protest messages “abolish 112” and “my taxes” on walls and King Vajiralongkorn’s portrait together with Sirichai Natueng, an activist who has been arrested twice for allegedly defaming the King.

According to the warrant, the police claimed the incident took place on 10 January, but Chayaphol brought evidence to show that from 29 December to 14 January he was in Hat Yai, Songkhla Province, and not with Sirichai.

Fearing that he could be arrested anytime as a scapegoat, he took goats with him to the police station for questioning. In front of the police station, Chayaphol asked the police to show him an arrest warrant and withdraw it if any existed.

Protest leader Panusaya ‘Rung’ Sithijirawattanakul and Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR) were also at the police station to observe. TLHR said that the police later showed up and reassured Chayaphol that there was no warrant issued for him.

Chayaphol’s request was recorded in the police blotter in the afternoon. His lawyer said that Chayaphol’s appearance before the police means they will no longer be able to arrest him over this case since the warrant has been nullified.  

Matichon Online later reported that the police have requested the Court to withdraw the arrest warrant for Chayaphol, claiming lack of evidence. The court has accepted the request.

Source: 
https://prachatai.com/journal/2021/01/91218

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