Jakrapob charge 'backed by evidence'

The weapons charge against Jakrapob Penkair is fully based on police evidence and witness statements, a spokesman for the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) said on Monday.

Speaking at an NCPO meeting on Monday, council secretary-general Gen Udomdej Seetabutr said police and other involved legal agencies should quickly counter Mr Jakrapob’s remarks and explain the facts to the public.

The fugitive former PM's office minister, now in self exile and already wanted on a charge of lese majeste,  has claimed the charge he was involved in providing weapons for the red-shirts was a setup.

Gen Udomjet said it needed to be made clear that the NCPO was not bullying Mr Jakrapob and that authorities handling the case acted on evidence obtained during police investigations.

Last week, the military court issued warrants for Mr Jakrapob’s arrest and for four others for alleged involvement in the provision of the weapons seized recently.

Mr Jakrapob, the co-founder of an anti-coup group in exile, the Organisation of Free Thais for Human Rights and Democracy (FT-HD), denied the allegation on asiaprovocateur.blogspot.com and his Facebook page, saying it was concocted and he challenged the junta to produce evidence to support it. 

Deputy national police chief Somyos Pumpanmuang said suspects caught in the seizure of the firearms in Ayutthaya's Wang Noi district had implicated Mr Jakrapob as their accomplice.

He said details regarding Mr Jakrapob’s alleged links with the seized weapons had been recorded in a case file.

Pol Gen Somyos said police did not need to “make up” evidence as alleged by Mr Jakrapob to make it possible to seek his extradition from Hong Kong or elsewhere.

His alleged criminal offence related to his involvement in leading red-shirt supporters to stage a violent protest at the home of Privy Council president Prem Tinsulanonda on July 22, 2007 was already enough to seek the repatriation of Mr Jakrapob, he added.    

It was reported that investigators in charge of weapons seizure cases were establishing links to all arms-related cases and had preliminary evidence which implicated the fugitive red-shirt co-leader with the so-called "Khon Kaen model", an undercover armed network which the army said had intended to cause violence in the Northeast following the May 22 coup.

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