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Facts about the right to bail

November 27, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

WHO’S THE RICHEST? The Bangkok Post: “Through the expansion of modern farming, along with retailing and telecommunications, CP has made Mr Dhanin [Chearavanont, chairman of the Charoen Pokphand Group] the richest person in Thailand, with a fortune that Forbes Asia puts at US$7.4 billion.” Of course, the Chearavanont family isn’t Thailand’s richest. That would be the royal family, which with its Crown Property Bureau, is the largest capitalist conglomerate in the country.

HOW MANY POLITICAL PRISONERS ARE INCARCERATED IN BANGKOK? According to the Bangkok Post, United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) chairwoman Thida Tawornsate Tojirakarn says that there are 101 political prisoners. The state claims 70.

LESE MAJESTE VICTIMS ARE NOT ENTITLED TO BAIL!: In the same report, Justice Minister Pracha Promnok is reported as stating: “prisoners charged with violation of Section 112 of the criminal code, widely known as lese majeste law, and the Computer Crime Act are not eligible for bail.”

PPT has to admit that we have never heard this before. In fact, there are several cases where bail has been granted. Pracha probably just “believes” this to be the case because usually those charged with lese majeste are not bailed. But you would have hoped that the Justice Minister understood the Constitution! Clearly he doesn’t and he denies a constitutionally-prescribed right.

But then every lese majeste case infringes on Articles 39 and 40 of the nation’s basic law in one way or more. Section 39 states: “Before the passing of a final judgement convicting a person of having committed an offence, such person shall not be treated as a convict.” That seldom happens in lese majeste cases.

Section 40 states. A person shall have the rights in judicial process as follows:

(1) right to access to judicial process easily, comfortably, quickly and indiscriminately; (2) fundamental rights in judicial process composing of, at least, right to public trial; right to be informed of and to examine into facts and related documents adequately; right to present facts, defences and evidences in the case; right to object the partial judges; right to be considered by the full bench of judges; and right to be informed of justifications given in the judgement or order; (3) right to correct, prompt and fair trial; (4) an injured person, alleged offender, plaintiff, defendant or the accused, interested parties, interested person or witness to the case shall have the right to appropriate treatment in judicial process including the right to be investigated correctly, promptly and fairly and not to testify against himself…; (7) an alleged offender and the accused in criminal case shall have the right to correct, prompt and fair investigation or trial with an adequate opportunity in defending his case, the right to examine or to be informed of evidence, right to defend himself through counsel and the right to bail…”. Again, most lese majeste trials breech these provisions.

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