PAD leaders finally indicted

The Nation reports that 31 leading members of the People’s Alliance for Democracy were finally indicted for besieging Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang airports in 2008.

The report reckons they were protesting against former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, which is only partly true as they were attempting to create conditions for a military coup and protesting against the government of Somchai Wongsawat. In the end, they didn’t get a military coup; instead they got a military mutiny against the government and a judicial coup. The result was the deal cobbled together by palace, military and the so-called Democrat Party that put Abhisit Vejjajiva in the premier’s seat.

Sondhi and Chamlong in royal yellow

Of course, the legal system still treats the PAD leadership with kid gloves. Only 17 of the 31 bothered to show up at Criminal Court and they were all released on bail of 800,000 baht.

The 31 included Sondhi Limthongkul and Chamlong Srimuang, as well as Sondhi’s right-wing satellite television channel, ASTV (Thailand), “which broadcast the leaders calling on people to take part in protests during the PAD-led political gatherings…”. They can enter pleas on 29 April. The report states that:

The 31 PAD members have been indicted for terrorism; forceful entry; criminal conspiracy in violation of emergency rule; destruction and obstruction of facilities at an airport; affecting safety; causing traffic jams at public places; disrupting communications; causing others’ properties to depreciate; criminal conspiracy; obstructing officials’ duties; intimidating officials on duty; intimidating others and withholding freedom.

Plenty of red shirts were jailed on similar charges and some remain in jail, having been incarcerated almost three years ago.

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