34 years jail for blinded PAD supporter

The Appeals Court on Thursday handed down a sentence of 34 years imprisonment on a People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) supporter who was previously given a suspended jail term by the Criminal Court.

Preecha Treecharoon, 53, was charged with attempted murder, illegal assembly and causing unrest in connection with the yellow-shirt PAD rally in front of parliament on Oct 7, 2008.

File photos

Preecha was among the PAD protesters police fired tear gas at to break up the rally. He was injured in the tear gas attack.

Preecha later drove a pick-up truck into five policemen on duty, injuring all of them. One policeman suffered a broken leg.

The Criminal Court sentenced him to three years in jail for attempted murder. However, since Preecha had never before been given a jail sentence, had acted out of anger and later became blind because of the tear gas, the prison sentence was suspended for two years.

The prosecutors appealed.

The Appeals Court on Dec 11, 2012 found him guilty of attempted murder and illegal assembly and altered the sentence to life imprisonment, the prosecutors said.

From left: Pibhop Dhongchai, Maj-Gen Chamlong Srimuang and Sondhi Limthongkul (Photo by Natthiti Ampriwan)

The life sentence was commuted to 34 years because Preecha's testimony given during the trial was useful. The reduction in sentence was announced on Thursday.

Meanwhile, PAD leaders Sondhi Limthongkul, Maj-Gen Chamlong Srimuang, Pibhop Dhongchai, Somkiat Pongpaiboon, Prapan Khoonmee and Maleerat Kaewka have finally been indicted in the Criminal Court on charges in two cases involving protests in 2008.

They were indicted after their arrival at the court in answer to summonses issued by prosecutors.

The first case is against 10 PAD leaders led by Mr Sondhi for laying siege to parliament on Oct 5-7, 2008. The second case is against six PAD leaders including Mr Sondhi for intruding into Government House on Aug 26-31, 2008.

The indictment of the PAD leaders in the two cases had previously been postponed 15 times.

PAD lawyer Suwat Apaipak said he would apply for bail for his clients.

Related search: yellow-shirt, PAD, politics, Sondhi Limthongkul, Chamlong Srimuang

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