Five former senior monks have lost another chance to secure their temporary freedom pending an ongoing investigation into allegations that they embezzled state funds for temples.
Their first bail request was rejected last Thursday.
On Monday, the Court of Appeals turned down another bail request filed by their lawyers, with the judges reaching the decision on grounds that the accused may tamper with evidence.
Locked up at Bangkok Remand Prison are Sa Ket Temple’s three former assistant abbots – Phra Srikunaporn (Boonthavee Khamma), Phra Khru Siriviharnkarn (Somjit Jansri) and Phra Wijitdhammaporn (Terd Yanawachiro) – former Phra Attakij Sophon, the secretary to Bangkok’s monastic chief, and former Sam Phraya Temple abbot Phra Phromdilok (Euan Hasadhammo).
Because their offences are related to money laundering, investigators can keep them in detention for up to 84 days during the investigation process.
Sa Ket Temple’s abbot Phra Phromsitti (Thongchai Sukhayano) and Phra Samphanthawongsaram Temple abbot Phra Phrommedhi (Chamnong Dhammajari) are also implicated in the scandal, but fled before police raided their temples with a view to arresting them last Thursday.
An informed source said National Police Commissioner Pol General Chakthip Chaijinda had ordered that police track down and arrest the two fugitive monks within seven days.