A judge has given police three days to investigate two foreigners held for nearly a month for allegedly violating an emergency decree during bloody, anti-government protests.
Briton Jeff Savage and Australian Conor Purcell are being held for their alleged roles in street clashes between red shirt protesters and government forces that left almost 90 dead and more than 1,800 injured during two months of demonstrations.
Police asked the judge to extend their detention for another six days, but he authorised an extension of just three more days, in keeping with the emergency decree’s detention limit of 30 days.
“I object to staying in a jail cell like a criminal with rapists and murderers when I have not been accused of anything,” Mr Purcell told the court.
Mr Purcell, 30, a former Perth resident, allegedly incited violence by making incendiary speeches on the protesters’ main stage at their Ratchaprasong encampment. The protesters demanded the government call early elections.
Mr Savage, 49, was detained for allegedly inciting or participating in arson.
Footage surfaced on the internet of the Kent native purportedly stating his intention to set fire to the CentralWorld shopping centre.
Mr Purcell, whose bail was previously denied, is expected to receive a new bail hearing.
Both men appeared calm as they were led into Bangkok’s Pathumwan Municipal Court barefooted, manacled in leg-irons and clad in prison-issue orange shorts and shirts. In previous hearings, Mr Savage had struggled with guards, alleging he was beaten in prison and stating he was illegally detained.
After leaving the courtroom, Mr Purcell told reporters he was optimistic. “It’s justified that I get bail,” he said.
His lawyer, Siriporn Muangsrinoon, was also pleased.
“The court has been merciful,” she said. (Agencies)
News item Courtesy of www.bangkokpost.com