File photo : Chitpas Kridakorn
Five core members of the now defunct People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), a political pressure group which engineered the mass protests against the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra in 2013-14 were, given suspended prison terms by the Criminal Court today.
Another core member was sentenced to six months, which was not suspended because he has served prison time in the past. The seventh defendant was acquitted, with the court ruling that his address to the protesters was an honest expression of opinions.
All seven former PDRC members were on trial on charges of insurrection, terrorism, creating public unrest and causing damage to state property during the prolonged protests between November 23rd, 2013 and May 1, 2014, in an attempt to force the resignation of the Yingluck administration, which was ultimately topped in a military coup, led by General Prayut Chan-o-cha on May 22, 2014.
The seven defendants are Nasser Yeema, Uthai Yodmanee, Nititorn Lamlua, Chitpas Kridakorn, Phansuwan Na Kaew, Prakobkit Inthong and Kittisak Prokkati.
The court dismissed the insurrection charges against all of them, but found them guilty of lesser charges and imposed prison terms of five years and nine months on Uthai and Nititorn and a fine of 200,000 baht each, four years and nine months and a fine of 180,000 baht each on Phansuwan and Prakobkit, nine months and a 40,000 baht fine Chitpas and six months on Nasser. Kittisak was acquitted.
With the exception of Nasser, the court decided to suspend the prison terms.