96 top PAD members appear in Criminal Court

96 top PAD members appear in Criminal Court

A total of 96 leading members of the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD), including Sondhi Limthongkul and Maj Gen Chamlong Srimuang, appeared in the Criminal Court yesterday.

Their appearance marked their first hearing of charges over the occupation of Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi airports in 2008.

There were initially 114 defendants in this case and 96 of them, in groups of eight, have now been indicted on charges including terrorism and violation of the emergency decree.

A lawyer representing some of the defendants asked the court to postpone the hearing as some of the accused did not yet have lawyers.

The court agreed to postpone the hearing for these defendants to July 29. It said the charge of terrorism carries the death penalty so it is imperative the defendants be properly represented.

The 17 defendants who have yet to be indicted include Veera Somkwamkid, Amarin Khoman and Karun Sai-ngam, along with 14 people whose real names have yet to be identified. One more, Atchara Suwannawong, has died.

Veera is currently serving time in a Cambodian prison for spying and illegal entry.

Mr Amarin asked the prosecutors to gather more evidence and refused to acknowledge the charges while Mr Karun failed to appear before the court.

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