Ex-engineer gets 27 years in jail for Phramongkutklao Hospital bombing

The Criminal Court on Wednesday (Dec 6) sentenced Wattana Pumret, a former engineer of the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat), to 27 years in jail and a fine of 500 baht for laying a home-made bomb at a dispensary waiting room of Phramongkutklao Hospital on May 22 and the explosion wounded 21 people, some of them seriously.


On Sept 22, the prosecutors filed a lawsuit against Wattana, 62, with the court.  The lawsuit stated that before May 22 Wattana assembled a pipe bomb with a blue PVC pipe and other explosive materials. The pipe bomb, if exploded, could kill or wounded people and cause damage to property within a 5-10 metres radius.


On May 22, Wattana, who covered his face with a face mask, walked with a vase containing the pipe bomb into the hospital and placed on the wall of Wongsuwon Room, a dispensary waiting room in the Chalermphrakiat Building.  The bomb was set to explode in 30 minutes.


The bomb later exploded.  The explosion wounded 21 people, both military personnel and civilians, some of them seriously.  The blast also destroyed the closed-circuit television camera (CCTV) system and other equipment worth altogether about 1.2 million baht.


In a search of Wattana’s house in Nonthaburi, police seized a battery, electrical circuits, pieces of PVC pipe, a switch and other bomb-making materials.


Wattana was arrested on Jun 20. In court, he confessed to all charges filed against him.


The Criminal Court on Dec 6 found Wattana guilty of attempted murder and caused an explosion that injured many persons, damaged government property, illegally having an explosive in possession and taking it to a public place.


The court sentenced him to life imprisonment for causing the explosion that caused injuries, three years for assembling the pipe bomb and one year of having explosive materials in possession without permission, and a fine of 1,000 baht for bringing the home-made bomb to a public place.


Due to his confession, the combined jail sentence was reduced to 27 years and the fine was reduced to 500 baht.


It was not known whether Wattana would appeal.


Apart from this case, four other cases have also been filed with the Criminal Court against Wattana. The four cases are being considered by the court.