Four-year jail term upheld for Arisman, 12 others

Four-year jail term upheld for Arisman, 12 others

Arisman Pongruangrong (centre) gestures at the Royal Cliff Beach Resort Hotel in Pattaya on April 11, 2009, where the Asean Summit was being held. (Photo by Trinai Jansrichol)
Arisman Pongruangrong (centre) gestures at the Royal Cliff Beach Resort Hotel in Pattaya on April 11, 2009, where the Asean Summit was being held. (Photo by Trinai Jansrichol)

PATTAYA - The Appeals Court on Tuesday upheld the lower court's sentence of a four-year jail term each, without suspension, for singer Arisman Pongruangrong and 12 other red-shirts for leading protesters who forced their way into the Royal Cliff Beach Resort Hotel in Pattaya, where the 2009 Asean Summit was being held.

The storming of the Asean Summit venue on April 11, 2009 in protest against the Abhisit Vejjajiva government caused the evacuation of the regional leaders and the postponement of the summit.

They were denied bail.

The prosecutors originally filed a lawsuit against 18 United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) members for defying an order prohibiting a rally of more than 10 people and causing unrest.

On Mar 5, 2015, the Pattaya Provincial Court sentenced 13 of them to four years each in jail, without suspension, and a fine of 200 baht. They were:  Arisman Pongruangrong, Nisit Sinthuprai, Payap Panket, Worachai Hema, Wanchana Kerddee, Pichet Sukjindathong, Sakda Noppasit, Pol Lt Col Waipot Aparat, Nopporn Namchiangtai, Samrerng Prachamrua, Somyot Promma, Wallop Yangtrong and Singthong Buachum.

The court acquitted two defendants -- Thongchai Sakmangkorn and Pol Col Sompol Ratthakarn -- and suspended the proceedings on three defendants who escaped -- Pol Lt Col Sa-ngiam Samranrat, Surachai Danwatthananusorn and Ms Orawan (last name unknown).

The court initially denied bail for the convicted 13. However, on Mar 9, 2015 UDD lawyers filed another bail request. The court granted bail to Mr Arisman, with 2-million-baht collateral, and released the 12 others on 800,000-baht bail. The prosecution appealed.

Mr Arisman and the 12 others appeared on Tuesday at the Pattaya Provincial Court, where the Appeals Court's ruling was set to be read out.

The Appeals Court upheld the lower court's ruling, which sentences the 13 to four years each in jail without suspension.

Relatives of the 13 defendants submitted bail requests, with 2 million baht collateral for Mr Arisman and one million baht each for the 12 others.


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