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Supreme Court acquits 6 PAD leaders, gives 3 other prison terms



PHOTO: Chainwit/Wikipedia

6 leaders of the now defunct People’s Alliance for Democracy have been acquitted by Thailand’s Supreme Court today. The charges were connected to the leaders’ role in spearheading continual mass protests that lasted from May to October of 2008. The protests sought the removal of then PM Samsak Sundaravej.

The former PAD leaders are…

  1. Former Bangkok governor Chamlong Srimuang
  2. Former Manager Group media baron Sondhi Limthongkul
  3. Pipob Thongchai
  4. Somkiat Pongpaibul
  5. Somsak Kosaisuk
  6. Suriyasai Katasila

The court sentenced 3 different PAD leaders, Chaiwat Sinsuwong, Therdpoom Jaidee and Amorn Amornrattananon, to 8 months in prison without suspension. The cases also go back to 2008 when all 9 leaders had staged a mass protest on May 25, 2008, at Democracy Monument as well as Ratchadamnoen Avenue.

The alliance sought the removal of the PM at the time. Following the protest, they marched to the Government House and continued to protest for months. The protestors, also known as Yellow Shirts, later occupied both the Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi Airports, forcing the airports to close down. Thousands of protesters were stranded, and flights had to be cancelled due to the occupation.

In December 2008, the ruling government was removed and Abhisit Vejjajiv was established as the new prime minister of Thailand. Following the appointment of the new PM, the protest leaders were charged with sedition, illegal public assembly and other offences.

The Criminal Court later acquitted 6 protest leaders, stating the charges filed against them were identical to charges already filed against them in a separate case. The Appeals Court upheld the verdict.

SOURCE: Thai PBS CNN Bangkok Post


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