Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Thai military court in action

The Nation offers the following account of the administration of justice in Thailand's military courts:
The Bangkok Military Court granted bail again Tuesday to a woman accused of spreading a false rumour on social media -- claiming Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha had transferred Bt10 billion to Singapore. 
Rinda Pareuchabut, 44, who has been charged with violating the Computer Act and causing public disobedience and panic, reported to the court after an initial 12 days of detention ended Tuesday. 
During her first period of detention, the court released her on Bt100,000 bail on the condition that she refrains from expressing political views, instigating unrest or leaving the country. 
Rinda said her spirit had been lifted to receive freedom. "It is better to fight from outside than inside because I can still see my dear children. This case will become an important lesson for me. I must live life more prudently and carefully. I think of my case as a blunder not a mistake,'' she said. 
Sasinant Thammanitnan, a lawyer from the Lawyers' Centre for Human Rights, who serves as Rinda's authorised legal adviser, said investigators asked the court to detain Rinda for the second 12 days of detention as they have yet to examine evidence and criminal records. 
The court approved the second 12 days of detention but released Rinda on Bt100,000 bail with the same conditions as the first detention period.

A hearing on a third period of detention is due on July 29.
Does Thailand really need to send people to jail for spreading false information (assuming it was false) on social media? Does it take a military court to try such a case? How long does it take to assemble the information needed for such a prosecution? 

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