Chaturon arrested at FCCT

Former education minister Chaturon Chaisaeng was arrested by the military while holding a press briefing at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand at the Maneeya Building on Phloenchit Road in Bangkok on Tuesday afternoon.

Mr Chaturon is taken into custody shortly after briefing foreign correspondents on Tuesday. - KOSOL NAKACHOL

In a short statement to reporters before his arrest, Mr Chaturon said since he no longer wanted to go into hiding and did not want to leave the country, he was prepared to be arrested.

About 3.45pm, a team of soldiers arrived at the FCCT and took Mr Chaturon into custody.  He was then whisked away from the building in a van.

He was quoted by AP as saying at the conference: " A coup d'etat is not a solution to the problems of conflict in Thai society.

"But it will make the conflict even worse, and ... it may lead to violence. A coup is unacceptable, it is an abrogation of democracy.''

Mr Chaturon said he would not resist arrest or go underground, but  "I still insist on exercising my own rights and liberty to call for the return to democracy''.

He decided to hold the briefing at the FCCT because he knew Thai media might have been restricted from reporting what he had to say.

Mr Chaturon is one of the Pheu Thai politicians summoned by the NCPO. Many of them had not complied.  They included Mr Chaturon, Pheu Thai party leader and former interior minister Charupong Ruangsuwan, Payap Panket, Sombat Boonngam-anong, director and founder of The Mirror Foundation, and Arisman  Pongruangrong.

This prompted the NCPO to issue Order No. 10 to prohibit individuals, juristic persons and financial institutions from entering into financial and property transactions with Mr Chaturon and Mr Charupong.

They were also prohibited from giving financial assistance to the two politicians and ordered to report to the NCPO any financial transactions made by them between Mar 1 and May 24. 

Under another order, those who fail to report to the NCPO also face a possible two-year prison term and a fine of 40,000 baht.

Mr Chaturon on May 25 gave an interview to Reuters, saying he believed the army had led the government into a trap when it acted as mediator of the peace talks on May 21-22.

He was banned from politics for five years after the court disbanded the Thai Rak Thai party in 2007 following a coup the previous year. His exile from politics expired last year.

Related search: coup, chaturong chaisaeng, thailand, fcct

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