First lawsuit over police misconduct at protest delayed

The Central Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Cases has postponed the preliminary examination in the lawsuit filed against the police for negligence in charging Wasan Setasit for involvement in the 19 - 20 September 2020 protest even though he was not there.

Left to right: Nadthasiri Bergman and Paranda Pankaew

On 18 January, the Court ordered more documents to be submitted within 30 days (by 18 February), and delayed the examination until 1 March.

Paranda Pankaew, Wasan’s lawyer from the NSP Legal Office, said the Court will issue a letter requesting evidence from the police. She said the court would proceed to the preliminary examination with the documents already submitted if no further documents or evidence were submitted.

The NSP Legal Office filed a lawsuit against the investigative officers for negligence under Sections 157 and 200 of the Criminal Code on 9 December 2020.

The legal action was taken as lawyer associations in December 2020 formed a Human Rights Lawyers Alliance to monitor and sue the authorities for abuse of power and to protect human rights when 220 people were already facing 119 charges with 24 of them charged under the lèse majesté law (the number is at least 49 as of 18 January 2021).

Wasan was accused by Chanasongkram Police Station investigators for participating in the protests at Thammasat University and Sanam Luang on 19-20 September 2020. He was in a different province at the time of the protest.

It is reported that another person was accused alongside Wasan but whether the similar kind of lawsuit will be made or not is still a work in progress.

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