PDRC leaders ordered to pay B1.4m damages to DSI

PDRC leaders ordered to pay B1.4m damages to DSI

Phra Buddha Issara (seated) joins core leaders of the People's Democratic Reform Committee during the protest at the government complex on Chaeng Wattana Road in April 2014. (Bangkok Post file photo)
Phra Buddha Issara (seated) joins core leaders of the People's Democratic Reform Committee during the protest at the government complex on Chaeng Wattana Road in April 2014. (Bangkok Post file photo)

The Civil Court has ordered five leading members of the People's Democratic Reform Committee to pay 1.4-million-baht restitution to the Department of Special Investigation for damage caused by the PDRC's seizure of the DSI building in 2013-14.

Named in the civil suit, filed by the DSI on Nov 19, 2014, were Phra Buddha Issara, the abbot of Wat Or Noi in Nakhon Pathom, Pol Maj Gen Somkiat Wattanawikij, Chumpol Julasai, Nitithorn Lamluek and Anchalee Paireerak.

According to the lawsuit, the five led a number of PDRC protesters to occupy the DSI building on Chaeng Wattana road from November 2013 to January 2014, preventing DSI officials from working there.

This happened while the PDRC was staging protests against the Yingluck Shinawatra government that  began in May 2013 and ended on May 22, 2014 when the military staged a coup.

During the occupation, the protesters cut the main power lines, causing damage to the DSI's computerised systems. Closed-circuit television cameras installed at the building were also damaged.

Moreover, the DSI had to bear the expenses of providing food and water for police who were assigned to take care of the DSI's property.

The DSI demanded the five PDRC defendants pay 2.6 million baht in restitution.

The court found the defendants had actually caused damage to the DSI's property.  

The court ordered Phra Buddha Issara and Pol Maj Gen Somkiat to pay the DSI 899,203 baht, Mr Chumpol alone 365,000 baht, and Mr Nitithorn and Ms Anchalee 184,931 baht -- a total of 1,449,134 baht -- plus 7.5% annual interest starting Nov 19, 2014.

The five defendants were not present for today's court ruling. They were represented by their lawyers.

Kathawut Thapthimnitiphu, representing Phra Buddha Issara and Pol Maj Gen Somkiat, said he would consult the five defendants about whether to lodge an appeal.


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