Suits filed against Doi Suthep protesters

Suits filed against Doi Suthep protesters

Two criminal defamation lawsuits have been filed against activists leading the battle to reclaim judges' offices (top right) and homes built on Doi Suthep forest land. (File photo)
Two criminal defamation lawsuits have been filed against activists leading the battle to reclaim judges' offices (top right) and homes built on Doi Suthep forest land. (File photo)

The Office of the Judiciary has filed two defamation suits against leaders of a civil network fighting to reclaim the Doi Suthep forest area where the controversial housing project for judges and judicial staff is located in Chiang Mai.

Teerasak Rupsuwan, who serves as a coordinator of the network, said Wednesday that the Office of the Judiciary filed the suits with Phahon Yothin police station in Bangkok.

He said no details of the suits were available yet, but he expected the first case may involve the protest leaders holding a media briefing after the house of one of the protest leaders in Chiang Mai was searched on Nov 13.

Police issued a summons for the activists to acknowledge charges in the first case on Monday. But they received the summons only on Friday, leaving them little time to prepare.

As a result, they had to ask the police to reschedule and set a new date, Mr Teerasak said.

The second case may involve the group holding activities including the burning of a coffin to protest against the housing project, Mr Teerasak said, adding that this group would also ask to reschedule their court date.

Regarding progress in solving the dispute over the housing project, a provincial committee chaired by Chiang Mai governor Supachai Iamsuwan is standing by its decision to demolish 45 homes and nine buildings and return the disputed plot to the Treasury Department for rehabilitation. The nine buildings which are already partially occupied will be vacated.

The housing project is located on an 89-rai land plot given to the military by the Treasury Department for the construction of the Region 5 Appeals Court.

It ran into strong opposition from local groups months before it was completed in June this year.


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