By The Nation
The leaders had taken turns to take to the stage set up on Rajdamnoen Road in 2011, which was declared by the then government as one of the security areas under the act.
Panthep Puapongpan, one of the defendants, said the PAD leaders took to the stage to protect national interest with regard to the Preah Vihear Temple controversy between Thailand and Cambodia.
He said the declaration of the area under the act was not in effect as the announcement in the Royal Gazette came after the group’s activity. Any laws that affected people’s rights must be announced in the Royal Gazette first, he claimed.
The court accepted the group’s legal argument, saying the declaration of the security area that covered the group’s stage was announced in the Royal Gazette after the activity, hence they had not violated the act.
One of the former PAD leaders, Sondhi Limthongkul, who is in jail for other offences, also attended the court’s ruling today.