PAD gets a bill, perhaps

25 03 2011

After more than 2 years, a decision has been made in one court case against the People’s Alliance for Democracy for their occupation of Bangkok’s airports.

PAD at the airport

The Bangkok Post reports that the “Civil Court on Friday ordered 13 leaders of the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) to pay 522 million baht in damages to Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT) for the eight-day blockade of Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi airports in late 2008.”

The defendants in the case included all the main PAD leaders: “Maj-Gen Chamlong Srimuang, Sondhi Limthongkul, Pibhop Dhongchai, Somsak Kosaisuk, Suriyasai Katasila, Somkiat Pongpaibul, Saranyu Wongkrajang, Sirichai Mai-ngam and Maleerat Kaewka.”

The court is reported to have “ruled that the seizure of the two international airports forced the suspension of air services, causing both physical and commercial damage to the AoT. The 13 defendants are, therefore, ordered to pay the AoT 522 million baht damages, plus 7.5 per cent interest starting Dec 3, 2008 when the occupation of the airports ended. The court also ordered them to pay the AoT’s legal fees in the case, 80,000 baht.”

While AoT president Sereerat Pasutanont is said to have satisfied with the court’s ruling, we suspect that  the person most satisfied might be Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva. He will no doubt claim that such a verdict “proves” that there are no double standards whenever he seeks to electorally legitimize his government. Maybe Abhisit, who wanted to thank the boys and girls in yellow back in 2008, when they helped hoist him to power, is now regretting dropping the case on the PAD occupation of Government House (thanks to Bangkok Pundit for reminding us of this).

Of course, as is usually the case, PAD will appeal the decision. So unimportant did they consider this decision, that not one of the leaders even bothered to attend court. So the bill will remain unpaid for some time yet.


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