Court acquits 'democracy six'

Court acquits 'democracy six'

Rangsiman Rome, left, Sirawith “Ja New” Serithiwat, second right, and other pro-election activists during a press conference at Thammasat University in Bangkok on Feb 17 last year held in response to legal action against their rally on Feb 10, 2018. (File photo)
Rangsiman Rome, left, Sirawith “Ja New” Serithiwat, second right, and other pro-election activists during a press conference at Thammasat University in Bangkok on Feb 17 last year held in response to legal action against their rally on Feb 10, 2018. (File photo)

The Criminal Court on Friday acquitted six pro-democracy activists, including Sirawith “Ja New” Serithiwat, of illegal assembly in connection with a protest in February last year to demand a general election.

The court ruled that the accused had no intent to incite violence and did not do harm to the authorities.

The court said the accused were gathering for one purpose, which was to call on the government and the then-National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to hold a general election in November 2018,  after the polls had been postponed several times.

The demand was made after the enactment of the 2017 charter and the NCPO chief announced the election roadmap. The accuseds' activities were in line with democratic principles, the court said.

The five other accused were Kan Phongpraphaphan, Anon Nampha,  Nattha Mahattana, Sukrit Phiansuwan and Chonthicha Chaengrew.

The six activists were detained and charged for leading a gathering of supporters of their pro-election group near the Democracy Monument on Feb 10, 2018. They were indicted in September last year and granted bail by the Criminal Court. 

They were members of a group they called "People Who Want an Election" which included Future Forward Party MP Rangsiman Rome, who was indicted separately and tried in the Dusit District Court.

The court also said the defendants' criticism of Deputy prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, who was at the time embroiled in the luxury watch scandal, was made in good faith as the matter was in the public domain.


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