Three suspects are now in custody after being arraigned in the Bangkok Criminal Court yesterday. They had 11 charges read relating to the explosions around Bangkok in early August when the city was hosting an ASEAN Summit.
The three men – 27 year old Widan Maha, 22 year old Lu-ai Sae-ngae, and 27 year old Muhammad Ilham Sa-i – were indicted by prosecutors three days ago. All three are residents of Narathiwat in southern Thailand.
They face a total of eleven charges, including collusion in terrorism, organised crime, illegal assembly, attempted murder, illegal possession of explosives, carrying explosives plus related offences.
They were taken from Bangkok Remand Prison and arraigned in the Criminal Court on Thursday. They continue to deny all charges. The three were remanded in custody. Their next appearance in court will be on December 16.
The general thrust of the police prosecution case is that the attackers carried out the attacks in retribution for deaths of insurgents in the seep south, and that the bombings were politically motivated. They say the timing of the attacks co-incided with an ASEAN meeting in Bangkok for foreign ministers to embarrass the government.
The deputy director-general of the Department of Criminal Litigation says police investigators had submitted their case report on the bombings to prosecutors last August.
Attorney-General Wongsakul Kittipromwong had decided to indict three suspects on all counts recommended by police.
The three defendants, along with another 18 other accomplices, are accused of planning and carrying out bombings at various locations in Bangkok and Nonthaburi at the start of August this year. Read The Thaiger report at the time HERE.
They are accused of planting two bombs in front of the Royal Thai Police HQ on Rama I Road on the evening of August 1, but the bombs were discovered and safely defused, according to the police report.
They’re also accused of a bomb blast at the Office of the Permanent Secretary for Defence in Nonthaburi, and planted four bombs at the government complex in Chaeng Wattana.
They’ve also been charged with similar attacks in Hua Mak, Bang Kapi, Thung Song Hong and Chaeng Watthana districts of Bangkok, and Pak Kret district of Nonthaburi between August 2 – 10.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
Thais warned on Hong Kong travel
Hong Kong’s Thai Consular Office has issued a warning to travellers and Thais living there, of violent demonstrations that may be dangerous and disrupt public transport.
The office tells Thai people to preparefor inconvenience, avoid protest areas and be very cautious.
“Don’t photograph protesters or police, and refrain from doing anything that might be provocative,” the office warns
Thais in Hong Kong can get updates on the website of the Hong Kong Polic,e and can check public transport information and flights on these websites:
They can also call emergency lines at (+852) 6821-1545 or (+852) 6821-1546, or the call centre of Department of Consular Service at (+66) 25728442.
Malaysian PM confirms Anwar will be successor
PHOTO: Malaysian PM, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad inspecting some Malaysian silks on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit in Bangkok – Twitter
The Malaysian PM, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has confirmed publicly that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, president of the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (People’s Justice Party) will be his successor. The 94 year old PM was speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald in Bangkok yesterday, where he has been attending the ASEAN summit.
Dr Mahatir confirmed he will stand down before the next general election, despite some calls for him to remain until the end of the current government’s mandate.
“Yes, I will. Although there are lots of other people who have been asking me to carry on until the next election but that is their view. My commitment is to step down before the next election, certainly.”
The Nation reports that he also re-affirmed that Anwar will be his successor, and not Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.
Dr Mahatir stopped short of providing a transition timeline and his reluctance to commit to a deadline has been a bone of contention in the past.
“I cannot say whether it is two years or three years, but I will certainly step down as I promised.”
The two have had a tortured relationship for decades but came together last year to topple the former Malaysian PM, Najib Razak, who is currently battling numerous legal battles over his involvement with the 1MBD development bank scandal.
SOURCE: The Nation
US accuses ASEAN nations of trying to “embarrass” Trump with meeting snub
PHOTO: All smiles for the official pics, but backroom tensions emerged between the US and other ASEAN delegations – Reuters
An American diplomat, speaking anonymously, says the US is concerned by the ASEAN nations’ partial boycott of the ASEAN-US summit held in Bangkok yesterday. It was certainly an intentional rebuff to the US after sending a sub-par delegation to the annual ASEAN Summit.
The Bangkok Post reports that the US diplomat calls it an “intentional effort to embarrass” President Trump, adding that such a step is a cause for concern.
“We are extremely concerned by the apparent decision. A full or partial boycott by ASEAN leaders will be seen as an intentional effort to embarrass the President of the United States of America and this will be very damaging to the substance of the ASEAN-US relations.”
US national security adviser Robert O’Brien was sent to Bangkok on behalf of President Trump, who has also invited Southeast Asian leaders to a US summit early next year, choosing to forego the annual Thai gathering. Last year, he sent Vice-President Mike Pence, but it’s understood that both he and Pence are too busy on the campaign trail this year.
Last week ASEAN leaders remarked that the ‘low level’ US representation to last weekend’s Summit in Bangkok was a snub of the SE Asian trade bloc by the US government and the White House.
The Bangkok Post reports that protocol dictates that yesterday’s meeting with the US delegation would normally be attended by prime ministers or presidents, and seven of the ten Southeast Asian countries are believed to have been making a point by sending their foreign ministers instead.
The only countries to send their leaders were Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos.
US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was also in Bangkok as part of a trade mission, holding a private conference that was attended by around 1,000 business professionals and government officials. Despite what is being seen as a snub by Trump, Ross insists the US government and American businesses are committed to the ASEAN region.
The Bangkok Post report concludes that the ASEAN region is seen as a rapidly-growing market, comprising nearly 650 million people. ASEAN includes Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
The bloc, started in 1967, includes some of the fastest growing and stable economies in the world, and will be part of the new RCEP, the world’s largest trading bloc which is set to kick off early in 2020, which will also include Australia, South Korea, China, Japan and India.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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