Security tight for Pai Dao Din's pretrial examination

KHON KAEN -- A 100-strong security force was deployed around the Khon Kaen courts complex on Tuesday for the pretrial hearing of lese majeste charges against Jatupat Boonpattararaksa, aka Pai Dao Din.

Soldiers police and security officials surrounded the Khon Kaen Provincial Court, Khon Kaen District Court and Region 4 Appeal Court.

A large crowd gathered in front of the compound housing the courts in a show of moral support for Mr Jaturapat, who was to appear in the provincial court.

They included Mr Jatupat's father Wiboon, core member of the Resistant Citizen Group Sirawit Serithiwat, aka Ja New, and New Democracy Movement activist Rangsiman Rome, members of the student networks of four regions. 

Mr Jatupat has been charged with lese majeste and violating the Computer Crime Act

Pol Col Noppadol Phetsut, the Muang district police chief, said the legal proceedings would be as fixed by the court. The security force would remain on duty until the court examination had been completed, to prevent any untoward incidents.

All vehicles entering and leaving the court compound were subject to tight security checks.

Mr Jatupat, a student activist from Khon Kaen University, was indicted on Feb 10 by prosecutors for alleged lese majeste and violation of the Computer Crime Act.  He was charged after sharing a BBC Thai article on the life of His Majesty the King on his Facebook page on Dec 2. He was granted bail two days later, but bail was revoked in late December after police said he had behaved defiantly against the law.

Mr Jatupat has denied all allegations. The court erlier set March 21 for the pre-trial examination of evidence and witness lists.

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