BANGKOK, Feb 24 – Thailand’s Criminal Court on Monday rejected a petition by the Center for Maintaining Peace and Order (CMPO), seeking arrest warrants for 13 additional anti-government leaders for violating the government-imposed emergency decree.
The addditional 13 key leaders of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) were Somkiat Pongpaiboon, Somsak Kosaisuk, Chitpas Kridakorn, Sakolthee Phattiyakul, Sombat Thamrongthanyawong, Seri Wongmontha, Thanom Onketpol, Phra Buddha Issara, Savit Kaewwan, Komsant Thongsiri, Suchart Srisang, Ravee Maschamadol and Nopporn Muangtan.
Wiroj Phumsirisawat, a PDRC lawyer, earlier submitted a petition objecting to the arrest warrants, citing the Civil Court’s ruling on Feb 19 endorsing the government-invoked emergency decree but prohibiting the use of force and weapons in any crackdown on protesters who have organised peaceful demonstrations in accordance with their rights stipulated in the Constitution.
Persons who were not stakeholders were not allowed to listen to the verdict.
Mr Wiroj told reporters after the Court ruling that the Criminal Court considered the request of the Department Special Investigation (DSI) investigators and the opposition PDRC.
The Court also took into consideration the Civil Court’s verdict preventing the CMPO from enforcing its nine announcements and regulations under emergency decree and the behaviour of the 13 protest leaders.
The Court then ruled that there was no urgent reason to approve arrest warrants for the 13 protest leaders, reasoning that if they have violated the law, the authorities could use criminal law to prosecute them.