Constitutional Court accepts treason complaint against protest leaders

The Constitutional Court on Wednesday (16 September) accepted a complaint against three leaders of the 10 August demonstration at Thammasat University, accusing them of attempting to overthrow the government.

Student activist Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul, a member of the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration, the student activist group who organized the 10 August protest, was among those accused.

The complaint was filed by lawyer Nattaporn Toprayoon, who accused three speakers at the 10 August demonstration, namely human rights lawyer Anon Nampa and student activists Panupong Jadnok and Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul, of attempting to overthrow the “democratic regime with the monarch at the head of state” under Section 49 in the 2017 Constitution.

Nattaporn previously filed his complaint with the Attorney General under Clause 2 of Section 49 on 18 August, before filing the complaint with the Constitutional Court directly.

The Constitutional Court accepted the complaint and will deliver a copy of the complaint to the three accused, so that they can submit a statement within 15 days. The Court also ordered the Attorney General to deliver the evidence filed by Nattaporn to the Court within 15 days.

Nattaporn, a staunch royalist, is a former advisor to the Chief Ombudsman and has previously acted as a lawyer for the PAD, the Thai Patriots Network and other right-wing groups. In June 2019, he filed the same complaint against the now-dissolved Future Forward Party (FFP), claiming that the party was linked to the Illuminati, a fictitious secret organization believed by conspiracy theorists to be seeking world domination. The Constitutional Court ruled to acquit the party in January 2020, citing insufficient evidence.