Thursday, November 21, 2019

Court acquits 24 Red-shirt leaders over 2010 hotel raid, citing expression and protest rights

Aug 14. 2019
Police and pro-government protesters form a barricade to deter red-shirt gatherers at a location near a Pattaya hotel nine years ago. File photo: NATIONPHOTO
Police and pro-government protesters form a barricade to deter red-shirt gatherers at a location near a Pattaya hotel nine years ago. File photo: NATIONPHOTO
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By THE NATION

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All 24 “Red-shirt” protest leaders in charge of a hotel raid at the Asean leaders’ meeting in Pattaya nine years ago have been acquitted.

The Criminal Court said in its ruling issued today (August 14) that it found no evidence in either the prosecution report or the plaintiffs’ testimony that all of the 24 had resorted to violence or executed any acts deemed terrorism in their 2010 rally.

The 24 defendants included core leaders Jatuporn Prompan and Nattawut Saikua, United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship former chairman Weerakan Musikapong, as well as former singer Arisman Pongruengrong.

The Court also ruled that in their roles related to the rally, the defendants were executing their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful protest.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has taunted the defendants for their silence so far over their acquittal, saying: "Why don't they come out and brand the judiciary as unfair again, like they always do when the previous verdicts are not in favour of them?”

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