A Chinese ethnic Uyghur has retracted his confession to charges of murder or involvement in an attack that killed 20 people in Bangkok last year.
Adem Karadag, also known as Bilal Mohammed, is due to appear at a military court on Tuesday, along with a second suspect, Yusufu Mieraili, to formally hear the charges.
Police said both men had confessed to having a role in the Aug. 17 explosion.
But Karadag’s lawyer said his client had been tortured into making the confession, Reuters reports.
Most of the victims were foreign tourists, raising concerns that Thailand’s lucrative tourist industry could suffer.
“At the time he was tortured and under pressure. That is why he confessed to the charges against him,” lawyer Schoochart Kanpai told Reuters after visiting Karadag in detention.
“He still maintains he has no involvement in this. The only charge he accepts is illegal entry.”
Winthai Suvaree, a spokesman for the junta, doubted whether the two suspects had been tortured while in military custody.
“I am fairly certain nothing happened to the suspects while they were in military custody,” he said.
No group claimed responsibility for the attack, which Thai authorities have said was in retaliation for a crackdown on human smuggling gangs and not a terrorist attack.
But some security experts say the bomb was in retaliation for Thailand’s forced repatriation of more than 100 Uighurs to China in July rather than in response to a crackdown on human smugglin
China has long faced criticism for the perceived harsh restrictions it places on religion and culture in Xingjiang, where the majority of Uighurs live.
– Contact us at [email protected]