11 July 2024

The Criminal Court is scheduled, on Wednesday, to read the verdict of the Supreme Court in a case involving seven core members of the red-shirt movement, known as the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), relating to the illegal siege of the residence of Privy Council president Prem Tinsulanonda in July 2007.

The seven defendants are former UDD chairman Veerakarn Musikapong, UDD secretary-general Natthawut Saikua, former Pheu Thai MP Weng Tochirakarn, former Pheu Thai MP Wiputhalaeng Pattanaphumthai, Wanchai Naputtha, Veerasak Hemathulin and Warut Worachitvutthikul.

They were all charged with criminal association, incitement to unrest, possession of firearms and obstruction of officials through intimidation for their role in leading more than 1,000 protesters to surround the Sisao Thewet official residence of General Prem in an attempt to force him to resign from the Privy Council presidency.

During the protest, Mr. Warut allegedly used a flag pole to hit a police officer guarding Prem’s residence, Pol Cpt Thaweesak Namchanchiem, causing a serious injury to one of the officer’s hands.

On September 16th, 2015, the Criminal Court found five of the defendants guilty and sentenced Warut to two years and eight months in prison. Veerakarn, Weng, Natthawut and Wiputhalaeng were each given four years and four months in prison. Veerasak and Wanchai were acquitted due to insufficient evidence.

The five convicted appealed, but the Appeals Court found upheld the guilty verdicts and sentenced Veerakarn, Weng, Natthawut and Wiputthalaeng to two years and eight months. Warut’s two years and eight months prison term was upheld.

All five were released on 500,000 baht bail.