Hospital bomber given 4 years for blast

Watana Pumret, 62, confessed after being caught on CCTV while placing a pipe bomb in a waiting room named for Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon at the army-run Phramongkutklao Hospital on May 22. The attack injured 21 patients and staff. (File photos)

The Criminal Court on Wednesday sentenced Watana Pumret, 62, to four years in prison and fined him 975 baht for the May 22 bombing at Phramongkutklao Hospital

At first four years were given on a count of illegally producing and possessing explosives and another four years on a count of illegally possessing black powder, while a fine of 1,950 baht was ordered on a count of illegal possession of ammunition, said the ruling. Watana, a retired engineer, confessed, so the judge halved the jail sentences and the fines.

He also faces a count of attempted murder, for which the court set Oct 16 for testimony by prosecution witnesses so it can compare their statements against Watana's confession. According to the prosecution, the suspect on May 21-22 assembled a homemade device and stashed it in a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe that was placed inside a flower pot. He mounted the pot on a wall in the hospital's Wongsuwon Room. The bomb later went off and injured a total of 21 people.

Watana, police say, told them he went to the hospital to survey the scene several times in April before planting the bomb. In footage obtained by security officials, the retired engineer, wearing a hygiene mask, was carrying a plastic bag with what appeared to be a flower pot inside. He arrived at 8.47am, walked to the Wongsuwon Room shortly before 9am, and left about 10.20am.

Back to top