Prominent anti-coup academic detained, charged


BANGKOK, June 18 — The military has detained and charged academic Worajet Pakeerat for defying an order of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) while some key figures including former MPs of the Pheu Thai Party and some red shirt leaders have reported to the council as ordered.

Following his arrest by soldiers, Mr Worajet, a Thammasat University law lecturer and a prominent scholar, was charged at the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) with defying an NCPO order for him to report as ordered.

Mr Worajet refused to talk to reporters while beng brought to an interrogation room.

Deputy CSD commander Pol Col Prasobchoke Prommoon said the authorities would bring Mr Worajet to a court-martial in Bangkok today seeking to detain him.

Mr Worajet’s lawyer said he would seek the temporary release of his client on bail of Bt20,000.

The lawyer said Mr Worajet had not intended to defy the NCPO order as his wife had sought a postmonement of his surrender due to his illness.

Last night the NCPO ordered 33 more persons to turn themselves in at the Army auditorium in Bangkok’s Thewes area, this morning.

Key figures and former MPs of the Pheu Thai Party, members of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship, and businesspersons who supported them appeared at the auditorium this morning as ordered.

The NCPO earlier announced that it would create understanding with the people it called in. Those who cooperate, the Peace and Order Council said, would be released right away while those who were defiant are liable to two years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to Bt40,000.