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Ex-PAD leaders released on bail

Jul 24. 2017
Chamlong Srimuang
Chamlong Srimuang
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By The Nation

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SIX FORMER leaders of the now-defunct People’s Alliance for Democracy were temporarily released on bail after the Appeals Court ruled on Monday to uphold the Court of First Instance’s sentences on charges of invading Government House in 2008 during protests against the government.

The court, however, reduced the penalty given to them from jail terms of two years to eight months, citing that they did not act in their own interests or any individual’s interests.

The six former leaders are retired general Chamlong Srimuang, Somsak Kosaisuk, Pipob Thongchai, Suriyasai Katasila, Somkiat Pongpaiboon and media mogul Sondhi Limthongkul, who is serving a jail term in a separate case involving stock market violations. 

According to court testimony, the six led protests against the Samak Sundaravej government to put pressure on the then-premier to resign. 

They took over Government House and were charged with invading a state property and causing damage.

The first court had sentenced them to three years in jail before reducing the penalty to two years. Their lawyer, Suwat Apaipak said he had posted bail of Bt200,000 each for five of them, and submitted a land deed for Somkiat. Suwat said he has also appealed to the Supreme Court

Last week, the group, along with three other ex-leaders of the People’s Alliance for Democracy, faced sedition charges for their scattered protests targeting several government compounds in 2008. 

However, the first court dismissed that charge against the six ex-leaders and suspended sentence for the three other ex-leaders for two years. 

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