Sukhumvit Square bar raid judgement in October
published : 13 Aug 2015 at 16:41
writer: Online Reporters
The Supreme Court on Thursday set Oct 15 to give its ruling in the long-running Sukhumvit Square beer bar demolition in 2003, involving 66 defendants including former Rak Thailand Party leader Chuvit Kamolvisit.
The court had scheduled the judgement for Thursday, but postponed it after eight of the defendants failed to show up.
The judge issued arrest warrants for four of the eight absent defendants because they did not give the court prior notice and an explanation for their no-show. Among the four is a key defendant, Maj Thanyathep Thammathorn, a former member of the 11th Infantry Regiment King's Guard.
Mr Chuvit said he was ready to accept the court's decision, even if it means a prison sentence, and would not flee the country or go into hiding. The outspoken politician and former massage parlour king said he would bring his toiletries to court on Oct 15 in case he is given a prison sentence.
The ex-Rak Thailand Party leader was among 130 people accused of trespassing, damaging property and forcefully detaining a person on the night of Jan 26, 2003.
The case was filed by 44 owners of businesses in the six-rai Sukhumvit Square beer bar compound on the corner of Sukhumvit Soi 10, whose premises were destroyed by a rampaging mob of men hired to clear them out so it could be redeveloped.
The Southern Criminal Court on July 13, 2006, acquitted all defendants in he case except Mr Chuvit's lawyer, Charnwet Malaibucha.
It ruled that Mr Charnwet was guilty of encouraging people to encroach on other people's property and sentenced him to eight months in jail.
The Appeals Court on Sept 12, 2012 then found 66 defendants, including Mr Chuvit and Maj Thanyathep, guilty of trespassing and damaging people's property.
It sentenced the 66 defendants to five years in prison and acquitted the remaining 64.
The 66 convicted defendants, including Mr Chuvit, appealed to the Supreme Court.
Mr Chuvit, who was then an MP, was released temporarily without bail, using his parliamentary privilege. Maj Thanyathep was released on bail with a 500,000 baht surety.