UPDATE: Bangkok court approves detention of former Democrat deputy leader

Prinn Panitchpakdi, photo by Prinn Panitchpakdi Facebook.


After over 20 women came forward this week accusing former politician Prinn Panitchpakdi of sexually harassing and assaulting them, the Bangkok South Criminal Court has now approved detention for Prinn this morning (Sunday). Three of the alleged victims lodged complaints with Lumpini police, and the police requested that Prinn be detained for further questioning about the allegations.

Prinn attended a hearing at Lumpini Police Station with his lawyer this morning. After the hearing concluded, the court approved detention. Prinn requested bail and he and his lawyer were then escorted to the court. There will be a hearing about the possibility of bail.

Police major-general Trairong Piewpan, deputy commissioner of Metropolitan Police, says that the police in charge of handling the case will oppose bail, but will propose that some conditions be set by the court. These include a ban on leaving the country and a ban on interference with witnesses, if Prinn is granted bail.

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The number of women sounding the alarm on Thailand’s former Democrat Party deputy leader Prinn Panitchpakdi keeps piling up as yet another alleged victim of sexual assault has filed a case against him. This brings the total number of women alleging that Prinn sexually assaulted or harassed them to over 20 now.

The latest woman reporting Prinn is reported to be 25 years old, and has lodged a complaint with city police in Chiang Mai yesterday, accusing Prinn of sexually harassing her at a hotel there. The woman’s name has not yet been revealed. The woman met Prinn at a seminar in Chiang Mai 2 years ago, and he contacted her last year saying was visiting the province for a seminar. She went to the hotel, but there was no seminar. He allegedly grabbed her hand, moved closer, and kissed her on the lips.

So far, the one woman who has publicly revealed her identity is 30 year old Anna Vidhyaphum. Anna stated she met Prinn at a family gathering last year. He invited her out for lunch at his condominium on Sukhumvit where he allegedly harassed and raped her.

“I was raped. I didn’t consent. I didn’t think he would be a crook. He’s well dressed, educated and is socially known”.

Two other alleged victims are reported to be 18 years old. One of the 18 year olds said Prinn harassed her when she met him at a hotel restaurant bar, where they had planned to discuss economic topics for her studies. Instead, Prinn focused on sexual topics before allegedly touching and kissing her on her hands and cheeks.

The other 18 year old alleges Prinn invited her to dinner, and pressured her to drink wine. He then allegedly asked if she had a boyfriend before asking if they could have sex. She claims he then touched her hands and face and made other advances in the restaurant.

This is an unfolding story, and the public is yet to see what decisions authorities will make on the allegations, and if formal charges will be laid against the prominent politician.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post | Thai PBS World

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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