Army chief insists police will take charge during Yingluck’s trial tomorrow

Police will be in charge of maintaining peace and order at the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Offices tomorrow (Tuesday) as there has not been a request for military help, Army Commander-in-Chief General Chalermchai Sitthisart said on Monday.

Former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinwatra is due to deliver her closing statement in the trial of the rice pledging scheme at the court in which she was charged with dereliction of duty causing hefty damage to the state. It is expected that many of her supporters and Pheu Thai party members will show up to give her moral support.

General Chalermchai said the police would exercise ordinary law in maintaining law and order at and outside the court.

However, security at the Government House and the Parliament will be tightened up tomorrow with a sign board being put up in front each of the two premises advising people who want to enter or exit the premises to show their ID cards and to obtain entry permits from authorities concerned. All vehicles entering or leaving the Government House will have their side windshields lowered and to have the light in the vehicles switched on.

All the drivers will have their faces photographed by a CCTV system at the entrance and exit gates.

A total of 300 policemen from the Metropolitan Police Division 2 will be deployed at the Supreme Court's Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions on Tuesday ( Aug 1) when Yingluck will deliver her closing statement verbally in the rice-pledging case, Royal Thai Police spokesman Pol Col Krisna Pattanacharoen said.

Pol Col Krisna said the police deployment is to maintain law and order in and around the court's compound as a large number of people are expected to turn up to show moral support for Ms Yingluck.

The police will not block Yingluck supporters from gathering around the court, but will ask them be there in a peaceful manner without doing anything against the law, he said.

Pol Col Krisda said the police are concerned over possible unrest which may be incited by a third-hand party.

He said a police team has been set up to monitor postings in the social media. If the postings are found to be inciting unrest, the posters would be arrested and charged with violating the Computer Act.

A team of police will also be assigned to protect the panel of judges handling the case in which Ms Yingluck is accused of dereliction of duty.

Meanwhile, Mr Wattana Muangsook, a key member of the Pheu Thai party, showed up at the military court today for his defence of the allegation that he breached the term of his temporary release by his post in the Facebook page rejecting the new Constitution.

He told the media that his rejection of the charter was merely his opinion and it did not constitute a political instigation.

Regarding the report that police would seek his arrest on charge of incitement of chaos over his post in the Facebook inviting supporters of Ms Yingluck to turn up at the Supreme Court tomorrow and on August 25, Wattana said that the prime minister in his capacity as head of the National Council for Peace and Order should not be worried too much.

He said he didn't understand what he had done wrong for inviting people to give moral support to somebody. He also said that he would show up himself tomorrow at the court.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)