11 July 2024

The Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Offices has issued a warrant for the arrest of former red-shirt co-leader Arisman Pongruangrong to stand trial in connection with alleged corruption in the National Housing Authority’s Uah Arthorn housing project.

Arisman, a former party-list MP of the now-defunct Thai Rak Thai party, failed to show up at the hearing on the corruption case today and the court decided to issue an arrest warrant after suspecting that he might jump bail.

The court also ordered the confiscation of his five million baht bail bond.

Arisman’s lawyer, Mr. Thamrong Lakdan, said that he could not contact his client and didn’t know his whereabouts.  Even without Arisman’s presence in court, he said that the trial could be held in camera and he could still defend his missing client.

Another warrant for his arrest has been issued, by the Supreme Court, to hear the court’s final verdict on the case of the disruption of the ASEAN Summit in Pattaya by red-shirt protesters on October 31, 2009.

Twelve former core members of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship, including Arisman, did not attend the hearing when the Pattaya Provincial Court read the Supreme Court’s verdict on Thursday. They were sentenced to four years imprisonment.

The Immigration Bureau has put all the 12 convicts on a blacklist to prevent them from leaving the country. Their whereabouts are not known.