The Bangkok Post and all other media outlets have reported that 114 People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) leaders and supporters are to be charged by the police for illegal assembly during the seizure of the two Bangkok airports in 2008.
We wonder if any PAD people have been charged for their occupation of southern airports?
The report states that “some” of the suspects, “mostly leading PAD figures,” are also to be charged with “terrorism under Articles 113 and 116 of the Criminal Code.”
Names mentioned include Chamlong Srimuang, Somsak Kosaisuk, Pibhop Dhongchai, Somkiat Pongpaiboon, Sondhi Limthongkul and Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya.
Those charged are being told to report back “on June 9 when the prosecutors would decide who among them are to be indicted and on what charges.”
That still sounds pretty loose, and the outcome will probably be less significant than it presently appears. There is also the likelihood for some continued political game-playing as the election campaign will be in full swing then.
The same report also mentions that “five of the six yellow-shirt supporters charged with the armed hijack of a Bangkok bus [a No.53 city bus] in 2008 were each sentenced to two years in jail today.” The sixth PAD bus hijacker had died before getting to court.
The details are a little more interesting than this initially sounds: “The Criminal Court today initially sentenced each the five surviving defendants to three years imprisonment and a fine of 100 baht each for carrying weapons. Because they gave useful information during the trial, each jail sentence was commuted to two years and the fine to 66 baht.”
For 66 baht, they could have each taken a taxi and not needed to hijack the bus. That figure suggests that there is still some life in this case and that those involved may yet appeal and see the sentences further reduced.
Compare this to red shirts (and some who claim not to be red shirts but were picked up by the police and military in May 2010). Some remain in prison almost a year after their arrest, with little access to legal assistance and having been subject to mistreatment and illegal acts (as outlined in the recent Human Rights Watch report). The double standards continue.