Court clears professor in NCPO case

Court clears professor in NCPO case

Worachet: In the clear
Worachet: In the clear

The Dusit district court yesterday dismissed a criminal lawsuit filed by a public prosecutor against Worachet Pakeerut, a law professor at Thammasat University, for defying orders by the now-defunct National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to report for attitude adjustment.

The court ruled in favour of Mr Worachet who argued these orders were against sections 5, 26 and 29 of the constitution because they sought to impose criminal punishment on him much later, after the alleged misconduct had been committed, said a source.

The Dusit district court's ruling is in line with a previous ruling by the Constitutional Court that stated the NCPO's orders were in breach of Sections 4, 27 and 29 of the Constitution because they were found to be acts of enforcing the law unfairly against a specific person, said the source. Mr Worachet was subsequently acquitted.

The case against Mr Worachet has been transferred from Bangkok's military court to the civilian court after the NCPO was dissolved, said the source.

According to Mr Winyat Chatmontri, a lawyer representing Mr Worachet, yesterday's ruling by the Dusit district court and the related ruling by the Constitutional Court should also apply to all other people who had not responded to the NCPO's similar orders and faced similar criminal cases.

These people who had fled the country when ordered to report to the NCPO may now be able to return to Thailand, unless they have any other criminal cases to worry about, said Mr Winyat. Mr Worachet believed more clarity on the ruling would benefit others affected by the NCPO's orders.

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