12 July 2024

Ratsadon core leader Parit “Penguin” Chiwarak has threatened to go on hunger strike in prison until his request for bail is granted by the court.

The defiant leader of the anti-establishment group caused a brief commotion during a hearing at the Criminal Court today, when his request to make a statement was rejected by the court, according to Mr. Chinnawat Chankrachang, one his 22 co-defendants.

He said that court officials bundled Parit out of the courtroom, causing a commotion as other defendants tried to shield the defiant protest leader. Parit then unleashed his frustration, asking why the court didn’t grant him bail while is still not convicted of a crime, citing the case of the former leaders of the anti-Thaksin People’s Democratic Reform Committee, who were found guilty by the court over the protests against the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, but were granted bail.

Then Parit announced his intention to go on hunger strike in prison until his request for bail is granted, said Chinnawat, adding that a drinking water bottle was thrown by someone in the courtroom.

It was reported that the person who threw the bottle also faces a charge of contempt of court.

The 22 Ratsadon core leaders and followers were taken to the Criminal Court this morning for a pre-trial hearing, during which the court examines the evidence from both sides, before the commencement of the actual trail, in which all of them are charged with lèse majesté and other offences related to the protests in front of Thammasat University and Sanam Luang last year.

Meanwhile, the Criminal Court agreed to requests by Panupong Jadnok, alias Mike Rayong, Chatupat Boonpatthararaksa, alias Pai Daodin, and Piyarat “Toto” Chongthep to be transferred from Thonburi remand prison back to Bangkok remand prison.

The three were moved to Thonburi remand prison on the orders of the chief of the Corrections Department because Bangkok remand prison was too crowded.

The court has scheduled the next pre-trial hearing for March 29th.