CHAIYAPHUM — A newly freed activist on Monday said police have summoned him to give a testimony to implicate the leader of the Future Forward Party in sedition charges.
Jatupat ‘Pai’ Boonpattararaksa, who spent over two years behind bars for lese majeste, wrote online that a summons warrant landed at his home today. The summons requires him to testify against Future Forward leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit on the allegations that Thanathorn assisted Jatupat and fellow activists to escape police custody back in 2015.
Thanathorn faces up to seven years in prison on insurrection charges.
“By my own reading, they want to go after Thanathorn by claiming he helped Pai and other students,” Jatupat’s father, Viboon Boonpattararaksa, said by phone. “But then they realized if they don’t bring Pai in, their [case] is worthless. So they want to involve Pai and dig up the past.”
Jatupat was released from prison on Friday, May 10 after serving two and a half years in jail for royal defamation.
According to a photo of the summons posted online by Jatupat, he must report to police in Bangkok on May 21 and present his testimony. The warrant was issued the same day he walked free.
Viboon said Jatupat has little choice. Ignoring summons warrants and refusing to give a testimony both carry a penalty of three months in prison.
“He has to be there,” said Viboon, who works as a lawyer.
Police have accused Thanathorn of assisting Jatupat and 13 other pro-democracy campaigners to flee a protest site on June 25, 2015, before officers could close in on them. The group was arrested a day later in western Bangkok.
Thanathorn has denied the charges, which he maintains are politically motivated.