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Somyos to seek bail for 15th time; Red Siam man may face new charge

Lese majeste detainee Somyos Prueksakasemsuk will re-apply for bail tomorrow - for the 15th time, his wife Sukanya Prueksakasemsuk has said.



Sukanya said the latest bail request will be, for the first time, accompanied by signatures of members of the public who support the request along with an increased bond to guarantee that her husband will not run away.

Somyos is in the appeal process after receiving an 11-year jail term early this year, although he has been imprisoned since his arrest in April 2011.

Sukanya told The Nation the amount of assets to be put up as a bail guarantee will be increased to Bt3.7 million from the previous sum of Bt2.2 million despite her calculation that a Bt1.1-million bond should normally suffice.

This meant, she said, that if Somyos ran away after being granted bail, property that he and she own worth Bt3.7 million would face confiscation.

"These are our properties and if he ran away, the burden would be on his wife," she said, referring to herself.

More than 100 signatures in support of the latest bid for bail have been collected so far, said Sukanya, and more are expected in the coming days.

Somyos was the editor of Voice of Taksin, a red-shirt publication, which printed two articles found to have broken the lese majeste law, known as Article 112 under the Criminal Code.

In a related development, Pranee Danwattananusorn, wife of another lese majeste detainee Surachai, said although her husband, who is 71 is awaiting a possible royal pardon after spending over two years in prison, the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) contacted her recently and said they were waiting to press another lese majeste charge against him.

She said Surachai, leader of Red Siam faction of the red shirts, was very upset and felt betrayed by the ruling Pheu Thai Party, whom he had supported. The possible charge relates to a speech by Surachai in Chiang Mai province in February 2011.

"Surachai said he didn't know why they're trying to press an additional charge. He asked why the government is doing this to red shirt who is for democracy and a member of Pheu Thai party," Pranee said.

"If it were the Democrat Party he would have understood… He was really upset and said if the government was sincere, it should talk with the DSI."

Surachai was taking daily medicine for diabetes and high blood pressure, she added.


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