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Shrine blast witness hearing delayed after translator disappears

Aug 23. 2016
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By Jitraporn Senawong

The

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THE MILITARY Court has postponed a hearing for witness interviews previously scheduled for yesterday and today in connection with last year’s Erawan Shrine and Sathorn Pier bombings to September 15, as there was no Uighur-language translator available for

It was reported that Baccadirok Serodigin, an Uighur translator in previous hearings, who was arrested in a separate criminal case, had apparently skipped bail and disappeared.

Lawyer Chuchart Kanpai, who represented defendant Bilal Mohammed, said his side proposed to the court that they would use a new translator, Omer Harnet, from the World Uyghur  Congress.

He said the Corrections Department also notified the defendants that their request to be moved to the Bangkok Remand Prison couldn’t be granted as this was a national security case and it would be unsafe to have them mingle with other prisoners.

The department also told the court that there was no evidence of physical abuse on both defendants to back their claim of being assaulted during detention.

Chuchart said the military court might not give a ruling in the case until late 2017 as there were at least 250 witnesses from both sides to testify.

The defendants – Bilal and Mieraili Yusufu – have been in a temporary remand prison at the 11th Army Circle since early last September following their arrests. Twenty people died and 163 were injured in the bombing near the shrine at the Ratchaprasong Intersection on August 17 last year.

The pair face 10 charges including premeditated murder; illegal possession of unauthorised explosives and using the explosives to kill others; and conspiring to bring a weapon into the city area without a sound reason. Another 15 suspects in the case remain at large.

 

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