Core members of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) who led the mass protests against the Yingluck administration in 2014 plan to challenge the prosecutors’ authority to indict them with multiple criminal charges related to the protests claiming that the Constitutional Court has already ruled that the protests were legal.
Led by Mr Suthep Thuagsuban, former PDRC leader who is now chairman of the PDRC Foundation, the former PDRC core members showed up at the Criminal Court on Monday as appointed by the court to examine the evidences related to the 2014 mass protests against the Yingluck government.
Among them were Phra Buddha Issara, abbot of Wat Or Noi in Nakhon Pathom, TV commentator Ms Anchalee Paireerat, former National Security Council chief Thawil Pliensri, lecturer Kaewsan Atibodhi, businessman Sathit Segal and former labour leader Somsak Kosaisook.
The defendants’ lawyers told the court that the defendants were indicated with blanket charges ranging from rebellion, supporting of rebellion, treason, and illegal encroachment of government premises among others by the public prosecutors without being specific about the offences allegedly committed by individual defendants, when and where the offences were allegedly committed.
The lawyers noted that some of the defendants only joined the protests at the protest stage and never trespassed on government premises but were charged with illegal encroachment of government premises.
Phra Buddha Isara asked the Criminal Court to proceed with Section 212 of the Constitution by referring to the Constitution Court their petition challenging the prosecutors’ authority to indict them with criminal charges after the charter court had already ruled the protests as legitimate and peaceful.
The abbot also asked the court to order the prosecutors to clearly specify the offences allegedly committed by each individual defendant.
The prosecutors had asked for the postponement of the examination of the evidences claiming that they had a huge load of evidences to peruse, but this was objected by the defendants.
The court, however, asked the two sides to return to the court on June 25 for the examination of evidences.