As the last survivor of the cohort of three arrested on or about 16 October 2015, so-called lese majeste suspect Jirawong Watthanathewasilp was again taken to the Military Court in Bangkok on Wednesday, and his detention at a prison inside a military base “was extended for the fourth time.” He is now detained until 7 December.
The Post reports that “Jirawong was escorted to the court by warders and soldiers. He appeared stressed and kept his head bent down as he entered the premises.”
Those arrested with him, Suriyan Sujaritpolwong, or Mor Yong, a fortune teller and Pol Maj Prakrom Warunprapha have both died in mysterious circumstances in custody. All three men were previously associated with Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn and seem to have fallen out with him or, depending on the rumor you hear, were separated from the prince’s entourage by those trying to neutralize or control the prince.
Police now say that the Suriyan and associates case they are “investigating” is “wide-ranging.” In fact, all of this stuff is essentially concocted out of the “normal” things that people associated with the monarchy do. But someone higher up wants to have this done.
Police claim that they have now “sought warrants for several police and military officers…”.
The warrants are for the “arrest of Pol Col Pairote Rojkachorn, former chief of the 2nd sub-division of the Crime Suppression Division, Pol Lt Col Thammawat Hiranyalekha, former deputy chief of the CSD’s 2nd sub-division, and several other [unnamed] police and military officers and civilians.”
The courts are likely to quickly approve the warrants. Apparently, “[p]olice had been sent to keep the suspects under watch. They would arrest them once the courts approved the warrants…”.
The general also stated:
It was not yet known whether three other police officers — an officer holding the rank of police general, an officer with the rank of police lieutenant general who was transferred to the Royal Thai Police’s operations centre yesterday, and Pol Maj Gen Akradej Pimolsri, chief of the Crime Suppression Division — would also be arrested for lese majeste charges….
It seems there are now 17 linked lese majeste cases.
Update: Khaosod names a third suspect and provides further details. The army officer involved is Maj. Gen. Suchart Prommai. It adds:
Suchart served as a senior adviser to the Royal Thai Army and personal aide to its former chief, Gen. Udomdej Sitabutr, who retired from the post in October. Pairoj and Thammawat are former officers from the Crime Suppression Division.
Udomdej’s days must be numbered. As we said previously, he’s likely to abscond now that the lese majeste and corruption dragnets involve him.
Khaosod includes this disclaimer:
Like other lese majeste cases and issues involving the monarchy, the ongoing investigation into the three suspects has been conducted in secret. Media agencies have been told by authorities not to report anything other than official statements and authorized disclosures.