PDRC leaders await bail verdicts

PDRC leaders await bail verdicts

Supporters of the defunct People's Democratic Reform Committee visit Bangkok Remand Prison to wait for news about whether the former leaders detained there would be granted bail. (Photo by Nutthawat Wicheanbut)
Supporters of the defunct People's Democratic Reform Committee visit Bangkok Remand Prison to wait for news about whether the former leaders detained there would be granted bail. (Photo by Nutthawat Wicheanbut)

Eight former co-leaders of the now-defunct People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) spent a second night in prison on Thursday as they awaited a court ruling on their requests for bail.

Sawat Charoenphon, who heads the legal team representing the detainees, said the court's failure to reply should not be construed as a likely rejection of the detainees' bail requests.

Mr Sawat said he remained optimistic because he had reason to believe the court would award his clients bail.

The eight are Suthep Thaugsuban, Issara Somchai, Chumpol Julsai, Digital Economy and Society Minister Buddhipongse Punnakanta, Deputy Transport Minister Thaworn Senneam, Education Minister Nataphol Teepsuwan, Suwit Thongprasert and Samdin Lertbutr.

They were among 26 people who were on Wednesday given varying jail sentences for their roles in the street protests that culminated in the May 2014 coup which drove the Yingluck Shinawatra administration from power.

They have been indicted on several charges, including insurrection, criminal association, illegal assembly and obstructing others from casting votes during street protests between November 2013 and May 2014.

Mr Sawat said he visited the eight detainees along with family members and relatives and they all felt fine after their first night behind bars.

Warong Dechgitvigrom, leader of the Thai Pakdee Party visited them earlier on Thursday and also said they were in high spirits, especially Mr Suthep who smiled all the time.

Rangsima Rodrasamee, a Democrat MP for Samut Songkhram, said she only had a chance to speak to Mr Buddhipongse and Mr Suwit due to a long queue of visitors.

Ms Rangsima had been a co-defendant but was acquitted by the court.

Mr Buddhipongse and Mr Suwit appeared to be in good mental health although they looked rather weary from apparent lack of sleep during their first night in prison, she said.

The eight are being held at Bangkok Remand Prison.


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