Flip-flop vendor case dismissed

The public prosecutor has decided to drop the case of a red-shirt vendor who was arrested and charged with selling flip-plops bearing the picture of the Prime Minister’s face in October last year on grounds of insufficient evidence.

According to the vendor’s lawyer Anon Nampha, the public prosecutor decided to dismiss the case on 2 Dec last year.

Amornwan Charoenkij, 42, was arrested on 3 Oct 2010 during a red-shirt rally in Ayutthaya, and was charged under Section 9(3) of the Emergency Decree which prohibits the distribution of any materials ‘which may instigate fear amongst the people or is intended to distort information which leads to a misunderstanding of the emergency situation to the extent of affecting the security of the state or public order or the good morals of the people’.

The Emergency Decree was in fact lifted in Ayutthaya on 29 July 2010, but Section 9(3) applies ‘either in the area or locality where an emergency situation has been declared or the entire Kingdom.’