5 red shirt leaders face 2 years 8 months in jail for violence in 2007 protest

The Supreme Court has upheld the 2 years and 8 months jail sentences for 5 red shirts who led a protest outside the house of the late Privy Council president in 2007 demanding that he resign. The Court ruled that they caused serious violence and public disorder.

Nattawut Saikuar, one of the defendant appeared at the court with the Liverpool FC jersey in celebration with the Kop championship. (Source: UDD News)

On 26 June, the Supreme Court upheld the verdict of the Court of Appeal against 4 defendants over a violent protest outside the Si Sao Thewes residence of Prem Tinsulanonda, the late Privy Council President, in 2007.

The defendants, United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship leaders Veerakarn Musikapong, Nattawut Saikuar, Vipoothalaeng Pattanapoomthai and Weng Tojirakarn, and Nopparut Worachitwutthikul, leader of the 2006 White Pigeon group, were each sentenced to 2 years and 8 months in prison for mobilizing more than 10 people to cause violence and public disorder. 

The court rejected the defendants’ appeal for a lighter sentence. The defendants were sent to the Bangkok Remand Prison. 

There were originally 7 defendants in this case but two were acquitted by the Court of First Instance, which sentenced the remaining 4 to 4 years and 4 months in prison. Nopparut appealed that he was not active on that day and the other defendants appealed that the violence was to prevent threats. 

In 2017, the Court of Appeal reduced the sentences to 2 years and 8 months, now upheld by the Supreme Court.

The charges relate to protests by thousands of UDD members (then the Democratic Alliance Against Dictatorship or DAAD) on 22 July, 2007, who were led from Sanam Luang to Si Sao Thewes, demanding the resignation of Gen Prem from the Privy Council.

There the protesters clashed with security officials and Pol Lt Thawisak Namchanchiam was injured when Nopparut hit him on the wrist with a flag pole.

Source: 
prachatai.com/journal/2020/06/88333