Indictments for embassy rally leaders

Indictments for embassy rally leaders

They face sedition, lese majeste charges

Prosecutors yesterday indicted 13 protest leaders on lese majeste and sedition charges for their roles in a rally outside the German embassy on Oct 26 last year where they called for monarchy reform.

The leaders, including Patsaravalee "Mind" Tanakitvibulpon and Atthapol Buapat, yesterday met public prosecutors to acknowledge the indictment for allegedly violating Section 112 of the Criminal Code (the lese majeste law) and Section 116.

The protest in front of the German embassy on Sathon Road was organised by the anti-government Ratsadorn group, whose leaders deny all accusations made against them.

Arnon Nampa, another protest leader, and Move Forward Party (MFP) MP Rangsiman Rome, were among a number of people who showed up to give moral support to the 13 protest leaders at the Department of Southern Bangkok Criminal Litigation.

Some of them held up placards with messages against the government and the lese majeste law while others called for justice for the suspects through loud-hailers.

Three officials from the German embassy were also present as observers.

Mr Rangsiman said that he and other MFP lawmakers would use their positions as MPs to guarantee bail surety for the 13 suspects.

Prosecutors later took the suspects to the Southern Bangkok Criminal Court for indictment.

The court later granted each of the 13 suspects 200,000 baht bail and freed them on the condition they do not repeat the offence or leave the country without court permission. The court has set Oct 11 for the next hearing.

Meanwhile, deputy Metropolitan Police Bureau commissioner, Pol Maj Gen Piya Tawichai, said police are pursuing legal action against eight protest groups involved in demonstrations between July 2-18.

The eight include the United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration group led by Parit Chiwarak; the Thai Mai Thon (Thais Won't Stand It) group led by Jatuporn Prompan, chairman of the red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship; the Prachachon Khon Thai (Thai people) group led by lawyer Nitithorn Lamlua; and the "car mob" rally group led by activist Sombat Boonngam-anong.

The others are the Mok Luang Rim Nam group led by Sophon Suraritthamrong; the Bangkok Sandbox group led by Promsorn Weerathamchari; the Vocational Students Protecting the People and Democracy; and the Free Youth group.

A total of 154 suspects have been identified and many others will be named later, he said.

They violated several laws including the emergency decree, the Disease Control Act, the Act on the Maintenance of the Cleanliness and Orderliness, and the Land Traffic Act, Pol Maj Gen Piya said.

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