Jatuporn Prompan, chairman of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship, speaks to reporters after the Criminal Court's ruling at the Criminal Court in Bangkok on Wednesday. (Photo by Apichart Jinakul)
The Criminal Court on Wednesday acquitted 24 leaders of the red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) of terrorism in their protests against the Abhisit Vejjajiva government in 2010, ruling it a political action.
The ruling responded to public prosecutors' arraignment against the key leaders of anti-government protests from Feb 28 to May 20, 2010. The demonstrators demanded that Mr Abhisit, the then prime minister, dissolve the House, believing that the military was behind the formation of his government in December 2008.
Mr Abhisit formed his government after the dissolution of the People Power Party for electoral fraud, ending the government of former prime minister Somchai Wongsawat in the same month.
The 24 red-shirt leaders denied the terrorism charge and other related charges including sedition, illegal assembly, and violation of an executive decree on public administration in emergency situations.
The defendants included Veerakarn Musigapong, 71, the former UDD chairman; Jatuporn Prompan, 54, the group's present chairman; Nattawut Saikuar, 44, a key figure; and Weng Tojirakarn, 68, another important UDD member.
aquitted : when a court of law finds that someone is not guilty of the crime they were accused of - การตัดสินให้พ้นโทษ
arraignment (noun): bringing somebody to court in order to formally accuse them of a crime - การฟ้องกล่าวโทษ, การนำตัวขึ้นศาล
dissolution : the process of officially ending the existence of a group of organisation - การยุบ (พรรค สภา)
dissolve the House : to end a parliament, normally to call a new election - ยุบสภา
executive decree : an official order made by a leader or a government - พระราชกำหนด
fraud : something (or someone) that deceives people by not being what it seems to be; bogus - ไม่แท้ การโกง การหลอกลวง
key : very important - ที่สำคัญ
sedition : fighting against the government; rebellion, revolt, revolution, agitation - การปลุกระดมฝูงชนให้ต่อต้านรัฐบาล, การช่วยก่อความไม่สงบ, คำพูดปลุกระดม, การสนับสนุนพวกกบฏ
terrorism : the use of violence to achieve political aims - การใช้ความรุนแรงเพื่อข้อเรียกร้องทางการเมือง