Supreme Court verdict due today in cases involving red-shirts, the siege of  Prem’s home in 2007

Nattawut Saikuar, secretary-general of the Thai opposition “Red Shirt” movement. AFP PHOTO / PORNCHAI KITTIWONGSAKUL (Photo by PORNCHAI KITTIWONGSAKUL / AFP)

The Criminal Court is due to publish the verdict of the Supreme Court today (Thursday) in cases against five core members of the red-shirt movement, also known as the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), for their role in allegedly leading the siege of the official residence General Prem Tinsulanonda, the late president of the Privy Council, about 13 years ago.

Charged by the public prosecutors are seven UDD core members, namely Parut Worachitwuthikul, Veerasak Hemathulin, Wanchai Naputtha, Veerakarn Musikapong, Natthawut Saikua, Viphuthalaeng Patthapoomthai and Dr. Weng Tochirakarn.

The Criminal Court acquitted Veerasak and Wanchai, but sentenced Parut to two years and eight months in prison for assaulting a police officer, who was guarding General Prem’s Sisao Thewet residence.  The four others, including Veerakarn, Natthawut, Viphuthalaeng and Weng were given four years and four months each after they were found guilty of illegal assembly, assault and using other people to obstruct the police in the performance of their duty.

The Appeals Court upheld the acquittal of Veerasak and Wanchai and the two years and eight months’ sentence for Parut.  The sentences for the remaining four were, however, reduced to two years and eight months each.

Originally due to be published on September 23rd last year, the Criminal Court postponed the reading of the Supreme Court’s verdict after Veerakarn, Natthawut, Viphuthalaeng and Weng changed their pleas to guilty.

 

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