Somyot’s trial in Songkhla postponed
On 13 Feb, the court hearing in Somyot Prueksakasemsuk’s case in Songkhla had to be cancelled as the fourth and last prosecution witness, who lives in Pathum Thani, near Bangkok, did not show up in court.
According to Somyot’s lawyer Suwit Thongnual, the provincial public prosecutor made contact with the witness and was told that the witness lived in Pathum Thani and it was more convenient to give testimony in Bangkok.
The witness hearing was then rescheduled for 18 April at the Criminal Court on Ratchadapisek Rd in Bangkok.
Somyot was moved to Songkhla Provincial Prison on 8 Feb, after having been relocated since late last year to Sra Kaew, Phetchabun and Nakhon Sawan for hearings of prosecution witnesses.
The lawyer said that the relocation of Somyot to various provinces was a form of persecution of his client, because several witnesses lived in or near Bangkok, but the hearings had been arranged in their native provinces.
Despite his health problems, Somyot has had to endure long journeys, sitting shackled in the heat in the back of a detention truck. The trip to Songkhla, for example, took 12 hours, the lawyer said.
He said that he had asked the provincial court to send Somyot immediately back to Bangkok as he was worried about his client’s safety due to different local political beliefs. He expected Somyot to be sent back in 1-2 days.
After six failed attempts to seek bail for Somyot, the latest on 6 Feb, the lawyer will submit yet another request on 16 Feb, the same day when Somyot’s son Panitan will complete his 112-hour hunger strike.