Prosecutors to Indict Activists for ‘Blocking’ Royal Motorcade

A royal motorcade drives through a crowd of anti-government protesters in front of Government House on Oct. 14, 2020.
A royal motorcade drives through a crowd of anti-government protesters in front of Government House on Oct. 14, 2020.

BANGKOK — At least two people will be indicted for blocking Her Majesty the Queen’s motorcade during an anti-government protest last October, the defendants said Friday.

Student activist Bunkueanun “Francis” Paothong said public prosecutors have decided to pursue the prosecution against him and the others under Article 110 of the Penal Code, which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. The indictment was initially expected last month, but it had been delayed after the prosecutors needed more time to file the case.

“I have come to terms with what will happen,” Bunkueanun said by phone Friday. “My plan now is to focus on my finals, which will end by next week, as well as getting my academic and personal life in order.”

Charges were filed against Bunkueanun and four others following an incident on Oct. 14, 2020, when Her Majesty the Queen’s motorcade passed through a group of pro-democracy demonstrators in front of the Government House without any warning.

The authorities accused them of attempting to block the convoy and commit violence against the Queen and Her Majesty’s liberty.

Another suspect, former lese majeste convict Ekachai Hongkangwan, said he was informed about the decision and worried that he could be immediately sent to prison if the court denied bail.

“The surety is not a big deal, but the question is whether they will grant bail release,” Ekachai said.

At least 19 pro-democracy campaigners have been put in pre-trial detention after the court repeatedly turned down their bail requests, according to the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights group.

Bunkueanun said the suspects will report themselves at the Office of the Attorney General on Wednesday.

The suspects have insisted that they did not pose any threat to Her Majesty the Queen. In a video of the incident, Ekachai could be seen flashing a three-finger salute to the motorcade, though no one could be seen standing in the way of the convoy or throwing any objects to the vehicles which were protected by layers of police officers.


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