Court indicts bomb suspects

25 November 2015
Court indicts bomb suspects
Adem Karadag (L) and Yusufu Mieraili (R) Photo: EPA

Military prosecutors yesterday indicted two key suspects in the Erawan shrine and Sathon pier blasts on 10 counts and set a trial date for February. 
Adem Karadag, also known as Bilal Turk, and Yusufu Mieraili were taken from the temporary prison at the 11th Military Circle in Dusit district to the Bangkok Military Court to hear the charges. 
The pair are accused of carrying out the Erawan bomb attack, which killed 20 people and injured another 130 people on Aug 17, and also the Sathon pier blast on Aug 18.
The charges include premeditated murder, causing death and severe injuries by explosive devices, causing damage to the assets of others, possession of explosives without permission, carrying bombs into public places, colluding in carrying out bomb attacks, possession of war materials without permission and entering the country illegally.
A source at the court said prosecutors wrapped up the cases and submitted them on Monday.
Choochart Kanpai, Mr Karadag's lawyer, said the defendants neither accepted nor denied the charges due to a language barrier. 
The lawyer said the charges were translated from Thai to English which Mr Karadag was unable to sufficiently understand.
Prosecutors later proposed Pol Lt Col Thuaythep Wiboonsilp, an inspector at the Foreign Affairs Division of the Royal Thai Police's Special Branch, as an interpreter for the suspects.
Mr Mieraili accepted the interpreter while Mr Karadag asked the court if he could have an Uzbek man as his translator instead. Prosecutors opposed Mr Karadag's request, saying authorities had no details on Uzbek translators. Mr Choochart said he will file a motion to the court within 15 days to have the Uzbek translator provided for his client. The pair have been asked to testify to the court on Feb 16 next year.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Human Rights Office for South-East Asia (OHCHR) yesterday called on the government to stop using military facilities to detain civilian suspects, saying it could lead to human rights violations.
Matilda Bogner, the OHCHR's regional representative, said two key suspects in lese majeste cases had died recently while being held in military custody, and the rights of the two Bangkok bomb suspects, including access to lawyers, were limited by military officers.