The chief investigator for the terrorism case against the People’s Alliance for Democracy pledges that all of the accused will be treated fairly and the group’s petition against the charges will be taken into consideration.
Around ten thousand supporters of the People’s Alliance for Democracy, or PAD, packed the Police Club to show moral support to 36 of the group’s core elements who submitted a petition to the National Police Office to object to the terrorism charges against them for their role in the alleged forced closure of Suvarnabhumi and Donmuang airports last year. The group refused to turn themselves in for the case, saying the charges against them are false. stage.
The two PAD lawyers, Suwat Apaipak and Nititorn Lamlua, met the chief investigator for the case, Police Lieutenant General Wut Puawet , and submitted their objection statement and information against the terrorism charges.
Wut then took to the PAD’s rally stage, telling its supporters he agreed that the 36 charged in the case are not terrorists and pledged his investigation team will use the information from the group’s lawyers in its investigation report.
He continued that the 36 will be treated fairly and affirmed all parties will be satisfied with investigators’ action as the police office must serve the public.
PAD lawyer Suwat appeared on the stage to thank Wut for assuring justice to the group and taking their complaint and information into account.
Suwat said the group’s marathon rally last year was constitutional and aimed to prevent the People Power Party’s government from amending the 2007 Constitution, particularly Article 237 on odisbandment of political parties whose executives are found guilty of committing a poll fraud.
He added the previous government’s handover of the country’s right on Preah Vihear Temple to Cambodia and the controversial appointments of several state officials left his group no choice but to move their protests to Suvarnabhumi Airport.
Suwat said he attached a copy of the Criminal Code’s Article 135/1 on constitutional gatherings to point out that the PAD’s protests are not acts of terrorism. Suwat added he wondered if red-shirt leader Weng Tojirakarn is eligible to file such an criminal complaint against the group.
He has filed a defamation suit against Weng for such an allegation and the Criminal Court is scheduled to hold a preliminary hearing on August 10.
Suwat added even Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva also deemed the terrorism charges against the group as too harsh. The lawyer commented that the charges should be filed against the red-shirt group rather than the PAD.
Several key PAD members such as Suriyasai Katasila, General Pathompong Kesornsuk and Sawit Kaewwan later rotated to speak on the
PAD lawyers petition police to review terrorism charges
Two lawyers for leaders of the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) facing charges over the blockade of Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi airports late last year submitted a petition to police investigators at the Police Club on Vibhavadi Rangsit road on Thursday morning.
Suwat Apaipak and Nitithorn Lamlua said of the seven charges to be filed against the 35 PAD leaders the severest was the terrorism charge under Article 6 (bi) of the Criminal Code, which carries a possible death sentence.
They said the terrorism charge was unduly severe, the PAD leaders could not acknowledge it and wanted the investigators to review it.
Altogether 36 leading PAD members were summoned to hear the charges by Thursday. Only Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya has acknowledged the charges, reporting earlier, but he later also submitted a petition asking investigators to reconsider the terrorism charge.
Supporters for the 35 PAD leaders still facing the charges began to gather at the Police Club about 6am on Thursday. The lawyers submitted the defence statement at 9.45am.
PAD leaders Chamlong Srimuang, Samran Rodpet and Anchalee Paireerak were present at the Club.
PAD coordinator Suriyasai Katasila said the leaders of the yellow-shirt movement did not show up to surrender to police, but wanted to show their opposition to the charge.
Mr Chamlong said the PAD leaders would not acknowledge the terrorism charge and would let their lawyers handle the case.
Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban said he did not think the political situation would spiral out of control because the PAD leaders refused to acknowledge the charge. Everyone still had to abide by the law.
He had given police full responsibility in handling the case, but had insisted they all work under the rule of law.