11 July 2024

Six former leaders of the anti-Thaksin People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), including ex-Bangkok governor Chamlong Srimuang, have lost their legal battle as the Supreme Court upholds their eight-month prison sentences for their illegal 2008 siege of the Government House.

 

The other five are former media tycoon Sonthi Limthongkul, 70, Phipob Thongchai, 72, Somkiart Pongpaibul, 68, Somsak Kosaisook, 72 and Suriyasai Katasila, 45.  Chamlong is 84.

All of them were among leaders of a mass protest in May, 2008  to force the resignation of then Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej who was eventually removed by an order of the Constitutional Court.

 

The PAD leaders were accused of laying siege to the Government House from August to December 2008, sealing the gates and breaking into the building causing damage to property valued at an estimated five million baht.

 

The Criminal Court found the six guilty of illegal intrusion into government premises and causing damage to state property, sending them to prison for two years.

They appealed the verdict in the Appeals Court which upheld the lower court’s verdict while reducing their sentences to eight months.  They then appealed to the Supreme Court which rejected the appeals and upheld the Appeals Court’s eight-month sentences.

 

With the exception of Mr. Sonthi, former owner of the Manager media group who is currently serving a prison term on other charges, the others had been out on bail. However, after the Supreme Court’s verdict this morning, they were all escorted by prison guards to Bangkok special prison to serve their jail terms.