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Court approves arrest warrant for Bangkok protest leader

Publication Date : 06-02-2014

 

In a setback to the anti-government People's Democratic Reform Committee, the Criminal Court yesterday approved arrest warrants for its chief Suthep Thaugsuban and 18 other leaders, under the state of emergency.

The PDRC was dealt another blow when a leader, prominent Indian businessman Sathit Segal, faced the threat of deportation after being singled out by the government's Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order on Tuesday.

In approving the warrants, the court said it had relied on evidence submitted by the police and believed that Suthep and 18 other PDRC leaders had collaborated to create an emergency situation, citing their violation of Articles 11 and 12 of the emergency decree.

The court said 18 witnesses and evidence, especially video CDs, provided enough grounds to suspect that the 19 PDRC leaders had collaborated, instigated or supported actions that caused emergency situations.

As a result, the police are authorised to apprehend and detain the 19 suspects until the state of emergency is lifted. The court ruling also stipulated that the 19 suspects, if or when detained, will be confined at Border Patrol Police Region 1 in Pathum Thani's Klong Luang district.

The court said if police failed to make arrests within a year after the warrants were approved, the court may summon the officers for questioning, and may revoke the warrants.

Meanwhile, rally leaders remain doubtful about the legality of the planned deportation of Sathit who has spoken on stage at the anti-government protests.

Sathit , a former president of the Thai-Indian Business Association, said he had stopped speaking from the rally stage after the state of emergency was declared last month. "I'm perplexed to learn from the media that the government wants me deported. I don't understand this because what I said on stage was about loyalty to the monarch and Thailand. I have never criticised the government or the prime minister," Sathit said.

"I have been doing good throughout my life. I worked for charity activities that paid respect to the monarchy. I have never harmed or hurt others," he said.

"I have been living in Thailand for more than 50 years and regard it as my home."

He said he was born in India and moved to Thailand when he was five years old. He did not change his nationality though his four siblingsborn in Thailand who are Thai citizens . He had served in many governments including that of former PM Thaksin Shinawatra and was appointed as adviser to ministries six times, Sathit said.

"It's true that I'm an alien but I have represented Thailand in many talks with India. I'm an alien who has worked and helped Thailand for long time. I wonder where all the good things I have done for the country have gone," he said, adding that he is most worried about his 90-year-old mother.

Earlier, the Department of Special Investigation issued a summons for him to report. "I received it on January 23 and I was supposed to report the next day. It was difficult for me to do so as I didn't have enough time to prepare," he said, explaining the delay.

As of yesterday, he had not yet received any document about the reported deportation. However, he intends to seek legal help as he considers the reported order unfair and he believes in the justice system.

Meanwhile rally leader Thaworn Senneam warned the caretaker government that the alleged deportation order was an act of intimidation and a threat because it was not in line with deportation laws. He said he would serve as Sathit's legal adviser.

Suthep announced on the Pathumwan rally stage last night that he will submit legal recommendations to caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra today telling her that her position was no longer legitimate after the election.

He said his recommendations are based on a letter sent to him by former Supreme Court senior judge Yindee Watcharaphong Torsuwan.

 

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