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The criminal court postponed the deposition hearing of the ‘Men in Black’ suspects, who are allegedly involved in the violence during the military crackdown on redshirts on 10 April 2010 due to the lack of evidences on terrorism charge and disagreement between the public prosecutor and the Department of Special Investigation, who is overseeing the investigation of the case.
The criminal court on Monday postponed the deposition hearing of ‘Men in Black’ suspects, the five alleged militants participating in the political violence on 10 April 2010 on Rajdamnoen avenue, Bangkok.
The prosecutors found that the evidence to file terrorism charges against the five is insufficient despite the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) case file, which presses charge on terrorism against the five.
The five earlier indicted the suspects with offences of possession of unauthorized and illegal weapons of war, such as M79 grenade launchers, M16s, HK33s and explosive devices. The DSI’s director will have an authority to finalise if the terrorism charge will still be filed against the five or not.
Four male 'Men in Black' suspects in Bangkok Remand Prison
The court scheduled the new deposition hearing on 23 March 2015.
The five suspects are:
- Kittisak Soomsri, 45, a Bangkok native
- Preecha Yooyen, 24, from northern Chiang Mai Province
- Ronnarit Suricha, 33, from northeastern Ubon Ratchathani Province
- Chamnan Pakeechai, 45, from Bangkok
- Punika Chusri, 39, from Bangkok
At the press conference on 11 September, a few days after their arrests, the five confessed that they were the ‘men in black’. However, roughly a month later, they recanted their confessions and alleged that they were tortured to confess while under detention by the military.
The five have remained under custody since September last year.
Winyat Chatmontree, a lawyer from Free Thai Legal Aid (FTLA) who represents the suspects, on Monday said that the bail requests of the five were not submitted because the suspects’ families did not find sufficient financial resources.
In December, the lawyer for the five also requested bail for, Punika Chusri, the only female suspect who was not involved in the case, but was merely accused of sitting in the same vehicle as the four other defendants during the incident. However, the court declined the bail request citing flight risk despite the fact that she was not arrested, but voluntarily reported to the police in early September.
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- Organizers of the assembly must “notify” the police about the planned rally, where it will take place and when it will start and end, at least 24 hours before the rally commences.If the assembly organizers want to extend the assembly, they must notify the authorities 24 hours in advance.
- Assemblies must not be held within a 150 metre radius of the residences of the King, Queen, Heir Apparent, princes or princesses, or royal visitors.
- Assemblies must not be held at Parliament, Government House and the courts, except where space is designated for assemblies.
- Assemblies must not obstruct the entrances and exits or disrupt the services and functions of state agencies, airports, harbours, railway stations, transportation stations, hospitals, schools, places of religion, embassies and international organizations.
- Amplifier microphones must not be used between midnight and 6 am. No moving assembly is allowed between 6 pm and 6 am.
- Microphone amplifiers used in a rally must use electric power under regulations issued by the Royal Thai Police.
- Protesters must not disguise themselves, except for traditional costumes.
- Protesters must not carry weapons in an assembly, and not trespass, cause damage to property, assault or threaten to assault others, or cause disturbances to others more than can be reasonably anticipated.
- Assembly organizers must take responsibility for the assembly being peaceful and weapon-free, to try to control the assembly so as not to affect others more than is appropriate, to inform the protesters of their responsibilities and conditions set out by the authorities, not to instigate violence, and to collaborate with the authorities.
- Any march or relocation of an assembly can take place if the authorities are notified in advance.
- If a protest is held within a 150 metre radius of palaces, international organizations, and residences of royal visitors, or block entrances and exits to public transportation stations, protesters face jail terms of up to six months.
- If an assembly is held without at least 24 hours’ notice to the authorities before the protest commences and the authorities do not relax this rule, or the protest does not end within the agreed period, or moves to another venue without notification to the authorities, the protesters face fines of up to 10,000 baht.
- If rally organizers do not cooperate with the authorities, incite violence, give speeches using microphone amplifiers after midnight and use microphones that are too loud, the rally organizers face jail terms of up to six months.
- If protesters carry weapons, trespass or damage property, cause harm, threaten others, obstruct the authorities, move the assembly after dark, they face jail terms of up to 10 years.
- If an assembly causes temporary or permanent disruption of communication systems, the production or the distribution of electricity, tap water, or other public utilities, the rally organizers face jail terms of up to 10 years.
- By defining an assembly as illegal, the police are given the right to order the protesters away, and any protester not leaving the venue is liable to punishment. This is even more unreasonable and disproportionate, said academic.
- Jantajira Iammayura pointed out that the failure to comply with petty legal conditions, such as the failure to give 24 hours’ notice, should only carry penalties for the organizers and not turn all protesters into offenders.