Court delays bail decision on red bosses until Aug 22

The Criminal Court has postponed until Aug 22 its decision on whether to revoke the bail of 19 red-shirt leaders facing terrorism charges for allegedly violating their bail conditions.

The decision was made at the request of Yossawaris Chuklom, better known as Jeng Dokjik, one of the defendants.

He asked the court to examine whether a VCD submitted as additional evidence by Democrat Party MP Nipit Intarasombat for revocation of bail had been tampered with.

Mr Yossawaris said he also wanted to bring in more witnesses to testify in his defence.

The examination of the witnesses has now been set for Aug 22 at 9am. The decision on whether to revoke bail for the 19 defendants, including Jatuporn Prompan, will be announced the same day at 3pm.

The court also put off the bail revocation hearing for the five red-shirt co-leaders who are Pheu Thai Party list MPs until Nov 29 because they have parliamentary immunity.

They are Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Nattawut Saikuar, Weng Tojirakarn, Korkaew Pikulthong, Wiphuthalaeng Pattanaphumthai and Karun Hosakul.

The court decided to postpone the cases of the five red-shirt MPs for fear it might run into legal problems since they are protected by parliamentary immunity now the House has reconvened.

All 24 defendants, except Phumkitti or Pichet Sukchindathong, a key red-shirt guard, appeared before the court for the hearing.

The 24 red-shirt leaders were released on bail on terrorism charges related to violence during the protests against the Abhisit Vejjajiva government in April-May 2010. They were granted bail on the condition they would not incite violence.

The court is considering requests by the Office of the Constitution Court and Democrat MP Nipit for the red-shirt leaders' bail to be revoked.

The office made the request after the defendants criticised the charter court judges when the court ordered parliament on June 1 to suspend the charter amendment bill's third reading.

About 1,000 red shirts gathered outside the court in a show of support yesterday. They dispersed after learning of the court's decision to delay the hearing.

Police were deployed around the court to maintain law and order. There were no violent incidents.

After leaving the courtroom, Mr Korkaew said he was not worried by the fact he would not enjoy immunity when the court begins its hearing on Nov 29 when parliament ends its session. He said he was confident he could explain to the court that he did not breach his bail conditions. Mr Korkaew praised the court's proceedings which allowed the defendants to present their arguments.

Mr Yossawaris said he believed the court would uphold justice and not revoke their bail.

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Writer: Manop Thip-Osod & Patsara Jikkham