The businesswoman arrested for spreading a rumour online that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha had transferred Bt10 billion (S$399.9 m) to Singapore was released on a Bt100,000 bail yesterday at 6.15pm yesterday, an official said.
Rinda "Lin" Paruechabut, 44, had confessed earlier to posting such statements on social media and was charged with violating Articles 14 and 116 of the Computer Act, plus causing turmoil, public disobedience and panic. Rinda is the owner of a cosmetics business.
National police spokesman Pol Lt-General Prawut Thawornsiri said the court had objected to an earlier bail request filed by her lawyer because the case was serious and could not be settled out of court even though the PM had chosen not to sue her.
Lawyer Pawinee Chumsri said yesterday that she had first filed for bail at the Bangkok Military Court on July 10, saying that her client had children and was not likely to flee the country. She said it was also unlikely that Rinda would interfere with police inquiries, witnesses or repeat the offence, as police seized all her computer equipment.
Pawinee said that although Rinda's offence affected national security, she was really only voicing her "opinion".
After her first request for bail was rejected, Pawinee filed for bail again yesterday on grounds that police did not object to her client's temporary release when they sought court permission to detain her for 12 days.
The lawyer said she also provided the court with Rinda's husband's death certificate to prove that she was a single mother and that her two children depend on her.
The court agreed to release her on bail of Bt100,000 on condition that she does not make political comments, instigate political turmoil, provoke riots, disobey, or leave the country.
Rinda has to report to court next Tuesday, when the first round of her 12-day detention is completed.
Deputy government spokesman Maj-General Sansern Kaewkamnerd said the case against Rinda was related to libel rather than politics. He said the suspect would have to answer questions from the public if she repeats the offence by posting false statements again after being released on bail.
"She has already faced social pressure and the public will question her conscience," he said.