By Jitraporn Senawong
Bilal Mohammed and Mieraili Yusufu, two foreign suspects who have been held at a special military prison in relation to the Erawan Shrine bomb attack, have been formally indicted by the Bangkok military court on 10 charges, except terrorism.
The prosecutor submitted the indictments on Monday. Both men in handcuffs were escorted Tuesday morning to the military court, which then instructed them to find a translator in 15 days. The court also set February 16 for the first hearing of testimonies.
The duo, whose seventh 12-day detention period at the facility within the 11th Military Circle had already expired, face 10 charges. They included premeditated murder; illegal possession of unauthorised explosives and using the explosives to kill others; conspiring to bring a weapon into the city area without a sound reason; and conspiring to cause the explosion that led to the deaths of others, serious injuries and property damage.
Bilal’s lawyer Chuchart Kanpai told reporters after the court session that the military court judge did not ask them to enter a plea on whether they pleaded guilty or denied the charges due to the language barrier. First defendant Bilal does not understand English well.
The prosecutor filed a request for Special Branch Bureau’s foreign affairs inspector Pol Lt Col Tuaytep “David” Wibunsin to be Bilal’s interpreter, but Bilal objected. Mieraili, on the other hand, accepted David as his translator, Chuchart added.