Case against 6 PAD leaders dismissed for double jeopardy

The Criminal Court on Thursday dismissed a case against six core members of the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) for double jeopardy and suspended its ruling on three others for two years.

The case was filed on Dec 30, 2015 by the prosecutors against nine PAD leaders � Maj Gen Chamlong Srimuang, 79, Sondhi Limthongkul, 67, Phibhop Dhongchai, 69, Somkiat Pongpaiboon, 64, Somsak Kosaisuk, 69, Suriyasai Katasila, 42, Chaiwat Sinsuwong, 65, Amorn Amornrattananond or Ratchayut Sirayothinpakdi, 58, and Therdphum Jaidee, 73 � for leading protests at various locations in 2008 to seek the ouster of the then government of Samak Sundaravej in violation of Sections 116, 215 and 216 of the Criminal Code.

The protests led by the nine defendants were held at many government installations including the Foreign Ministry, Office of the Election Commission, Interior Ministry, Royal Thai Police, Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry, Finance Ministry and the Office of the Attorney General.

The PAD protesters also rallied at Government House from May to October 2008.

The court examined the last witness on April 27 this year and set July 20 for a ruling.

The court today ruled that the prosecutors had no authority to sue six of the PAD leaders � Maj Gen Chamlong, Mr Sondhi, Mr Phibhop, Mr Somkiat, Mr Somsak and Mr Suriyasai � as doing is considered double jeopardy, because a separate lawsuit had been filed against them for trespassing Government House and the Criminal Court sentenced them to two years each in jail.

Therefore, the court dismissed the case against the six.

As for the three other defendants � Mr Chaiwat, Mr Amorn and Mr Therdphum � the court found them guilty of Section 215 of the Criminal Code. However, the court suspended its ruling on the three for two years.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)