2022 Report of the Ratsadonprasong Fund, Part 6: Expense Summary

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At the end of 2022, bail money from the Ratsadonprasong Fund remaining in Thai courts countrywide amounted to 56,428,500 baht (over 1.6 million US dollars). This amount is the combined bail of 947 cases. These numbers are unlikely to drop significantly for a few more years until the cases conclude, as those cases judged in 2022 are not final, requiring further posting of bail at appellate courts and the Supreme Court. For concluded cases where we can request the return of bail from the courts, meanwhile, it still takes us weeks or months (or a year!) to get the money transferred back to the fund. Last year, we managed to get 12,806,700 baht of bail money returned to us, although in the same period we had to post 35,373,505.54 baht of new bail.

Beyond the posting of bail on the people’s behalf, the expenses of the Fund in 2022 encompassed further measures of support aimed at remedying the lack of access to the judicial process, including travel costs and other necessary expenses for accused and defendants. This was to ensure their ability to access and see the judicial process through despite obstacles resulting from economic limitations.

Furthermore, in the middle of 2022, the Fund created a new category of support. Due to the fact that many accused and defendants in political cases were denied the right to bail and had to languish in prison for long periods of time, the Fund decided to add a measure of support for these inmates, with reasons as announced in a post by the Fund on 28 June 2022:

“In order to tell the people in prison that we are still by their side, even from the place of failure of a fund whose bail requests for them amounted to nothing. We would like to begin the project of giving money to support everyone in there—every single one for whom our bail request amounted to nothing! Because the courts did not consider that bail from us, the people’s will, is significant enough to stand as guarantor for those people’s freedom.”

Later, this new category of support to the realm of the Royal Department of Corrections, the terminal station of the judicial process, was further expanded to cover people who had been convicted in politically-motivated cases that fell under the fund’s stated criteria for support, as we considered them to belong to the same category of people affected by the lack of access to equal treatment in the judicial process. For example, some ended up where they were because they had been denied the right to bail, and as a consequence deprived of the ability to fight their case fully; some never had legal counsel from a lawyer from the day of their arrest to the day of their verdict; and some were remaining political prisoners from a previous era of political conflict. In 2022, the Fund supported 45 inmates in total by providing them with 3,000 baht per month.

In all, bail remained the main category of outgoing funds, accounting for more than 90% of all expenses. We will try our best to administer and monitor this portion of the funds to ensure that as much money as possible will successfully be returned in order to be reused, in keeping with our donors’ wishes, to guarantee the rights and freedoms of the people undergoing the judicial process.

Whatever efforts may have amounted to nothing in the past year, in whatever stage and by whatever organ of the judicial process, shall not overthrow the people’s will. On the contrary, any failure serves to remind us to remain steadfast in the truth that “the people’s first resort as well as last resort is the people.”

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