2 red-shirt leaders, 1 politician receive royal pardon

2 red-shirt leaders, 1 politician receive royal pardon

Red-shirt leader Wiphuthalaeng Pattanaphumthai (centre) is seen at the Criminal Court in July last year to hear the final ruling on a case related to a protest outside then-privy council president Prem Tinsulanonda's residence in 2007. (Photo by Apichart Jinakul)
Red-shirt leader Wiphuthalaeng Pattanaphumthai (centre) is seen at the Criminal Court in July last year to hear the final ruling on a case related to a protest outside then-privy council president Prem Tinsulanonda's residence in 2007. (Photo by Apichart Jinakul)

Two leaders of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship and one veteran politician will be released from jail on a royal pardon granted by His Majesty the King.

The Justice Ministry said on Sunday Payap Panket, Wiphuthalaeng Pattanaphumthai and Chavarin Latthasaksiri had received a royal pardon and will be released from jail terms by the end of this month.

Payap was sentenced to four years in jail by the Supreme Court in October last year for breaking into the Asean summit in Pattaya in 2009, leading to the abrupt cancellation of the meeting.

Wiphuthalaeng was one of four red-shirt leaders imprisoned for four years and four months by the highest court in June this year for illegal assembly and other offences connected with a protest at the Si Sao Thewes residence of then-privy council president Prem Tinsulanonda in July 2007.

Chavarin has been serving a two-year sentence since July last year, when the Supreme Court upheld the lower courts' ruling over the embezzlement of 11 million baht by the MP for Ratchaburi in 2014.

The ministry said the three inmates were granted early release as Chavarin has only one year's imprisonment left, while Payap and Wiphuthalaeng, now both over 60, were considered aging prisoners.

Other UDD leaders, including Veerakan Musikhapong and Weng Tojirakarn, took part in the protest against Gen Prem with Wiphuthalaeng. The status of their jail terms was unclear.

Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin said other prisoners could be released, he could not give the exact numbers. Officials at all prisons were compiling lists of of former red-shirt members and other prisoners qualified as candidates for early release, and would then submit them to the ministry.


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