Pressure on charter judges continues

Members of the "group of people's radio media for democracy" rallied in front of the Constitution Court for the eighth day on Monday, demanding that the nine judges resign en masse.

Pongpisit Kongsena, alias Lek Bandon, the group leader, said the rally would continue until the judges bow to their demand.

He said the protest is not violent, but argued that the judges should uphold the principles of ethics and morality by resigning. He claimed they lacked the legitimacy to continue to serve on the charter court bench because they were appointed by the Council for National Security following the Sept 19, 2006 coup.

The group would this afternoon send representatives to ask the Budget Bureau to freeze the salaries of court president Wasant Soypisuth and judge Chat Cholavorn, whose qualifications were in doubt, Mr Pongpisit said.

A wreath would be laid in front of the Constitution Court this evening.

Tomorrow, the group would begin a campaign encouraging people throughout the country to wear black, to mourn the "disgraceful judges", Mr Pongpisit said.

Pol Maj Sangiam Samranrat, a member of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship and adviser attached to the Prime Minister's Office, filed a complaint on Monday with Pol Col Prasopchok Prommoon, deputy chief of the Crime Suppression Division, against the nine Constitution Court judges, accusing them of instigating rebellion and unrest in violation of sections 113, 114 and 116 of the Criminal Code.

Pol Maj Sangiam said he was acting on his own after having filed a similar complaint against the judges with the Office of the Ombudsaman, the Office of Attorney General, and the National Anti-Corruption Commission.

He believed the Constitution Court judges had exceeded their authority stated in the constitution by accepting for consideration several petitions against legislators for proposing charter amendment bills.

Pol Col Prasopchok accepted the complaint for consideration.

Former senator Ruangkrai Leekijwattana on Monday filed a complaint with the Department of Special Investigation (DSI), asking it to investigate whether Chat Cholavorn, a Constitution Court judge, had violated section 112 of the Criminal Code, the lese majeste law.

He said Mr Chat had performed the duties of a Constitution Court judge, even though there was no royal command appointing him to the court.

Mr Ruangkrai said Mr Chat had taken part in the issuing of 33 rulings and 73 orders by the court despite the question mark over his qualification.

Related search: constitution court, charter, judges, protest, people's radio media for democracy,

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