Hospital Bomber Sentenced to 27 Years

Wattana Poomarej, 62, today in Bangkok.
Wattana Poomarej, 62, today in Bangkok.

BANGKOK — The man who set a bomb injuring 21 at an army-run hospital was sentenced Wednesday to 27 years in prison for crimes including attempted murder.

Wattana Poomarej, 62, an engineer at a state-owned utility, was found guilty of premeditated and attempted murder by setting off a pipe bomb disguised inside a flower vase in a waiting room of the Phramongkutklao Hospital.

The sentence was reduced from life for his confession. The other crimes, which altogether added up to the 27-year sentence, included assembling an explosive device, for which Wattana was sentenced to three years.

His loathing of the military junta which staged the 2014 coup was reportedly Wattana’s raison d’ etre for the indiscriminate attack. Forty-people were injured in the attack, which took place on May 22, the third anniversary of the coup. No one was killed.

The waiting room where the bomb exploded at the Bangkok hospital was also named after deputy junta leader Gen. Prawit Wongsuwan’s family. Prawit was once army chief and the hospital named various rooms after past commanders. Besides the casualties, the damage caused by the blast was estimated at 1 million baht.

Related stories:

‘I Didn’t Intend to Hurt Anyone,’ Hospital Bombing Suspect Says

Suspected Hospital Bomber Confesses, Junta No. 2 Says

Woman Held for Allegedly Sending Hospital Bomb Letters

Army Chief Links Hospital Bombing to Recent Bangkok Attacks

 

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Pravit Rojanaphruk can be reached at pravit@khaosodenglish.com and followed on Twitter at @pravitr.