Darunee faces additional charges

7 07 2009

Prachatai reports (4 July 2007: “Da Torpedo in court for open trial”) on another case facing Darunee Chanchoengsilapakul.

Apparently, on 2 July, she appeared in court “accused of surrounding the office of ASTV and insulting Sondhi Limthongkul when she led a group of red shirts to protest against the yellow shirts’ mouthpiece in 2007.” She was charged with “gathering in a group of ten or more people to instigate public unrest, detaining other people, damaging private property, trespass, and insulting others, in the incident when she led a group of about 50-70 red shirts to protest at the ASTV office on Phra Athit Road on June 1, 2007.”

Correct us if we have got it wrong, but didn’t PAD gather in groups of 10 or more throughout 2005-7?

“The defence lawyer had requested the court to summon Sondhi Limthongkul to testify as a witness, but Sondhi’s lawyers declined, claiming that Sondhi was recuperating from injuries from the assassination attempt and as the injured person in this case, Sondhi’s testimony would be unlikely to benefit the defendant.”

ASTV cameraman Chairat Khunhiran testified that “he saw Daranee speaking through a microphone, condemning Sondhi Limthongkul in foul language.Then the protesters hurled water bottles and stones at the compound, injuring one security guard at the head. He filmed the incident on tape.”

Again, we may have a faulty collective memory, but wasn’t the PAD stage used for similar foul accusations against its opponents? This is not to justify any of the actions, but to point to the continuing double standards and the political uses of the law.

Her lèse majesté case, in closed court, is scheduled to continue in late July and early August, and another case where she has been charged with insulting coup co-conspirator General Saprang Kalayanamitr is scheduled for late August.

These case appear to confirm that the power of the military-palace-judiciary establishment in Thailand.



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