Chaturon, Wattana and Chusak off the hook after prosecutors drop charges

Photo from Weeranan Gunha

Public prosecutors have dropped charges of incitement to public unrest against two core members of the Pheu Thai party and the former strategy chief of the defunct Thai Raksa Chart Party.

Mr. Narinpong Jinapakdi, president of the Thai Lawyers Association, who represent the three accused, namely Mr. Chaturon Chaisaeng, ex-chief strategist of Thai Raksa Chart Party, Pheu Thai party’s legal advisory chief Chusak Sirinil and Mr. Wattana Muangsook, former social development and human security minister and a core Pheu Thai member, said he was informed of the prosecutors’ decision yesterday at the Office of the Attorney-General.

He said the prosecutors in charge of the case had carefully considered the petition for justice for the three accused and agreed that there were no grounds to proceed with the case, originally triggered by allegations from the now-defunct National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO).

He declined to elaborate on the details of the prosecutors’ decision, but added that the Royal Thai Police agreed with the prosecutors’ decision.

Originally, the NCPO accused nine individuals of illegal public assembly of more than five people, but the charges were dropped automatically after the NCPO revoked the ban on public assembly.

Mr. Narinpong also disclosed that the public prosecutors have postponed a decision on whether to proceed with a charge of violation of the Computer Crime Act against Mr. Pichai Raripthapant until October 29th. The former energy minister in the Yingluck administration and former candidate for the now-defunct Thai Raksa Chart Party is being investigated regarding his Facebook post of a panel discussion about alleged corruption during the NCPO’s administration and a TIME magazine picture of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. 

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