The secretary-general of United Lawyers for Rights and Liberty submitted an official letter to the Department of Special Litigation 4 on Monday, urging it to expedite prosecution procedures against leaders of the now-defunct People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), including Suthep Thaugsuban.
Suthep and almost 50 other ex-PDRC leaders still stand accused of sedition for their demonstration in 2013 that pressured the Pheu Thai-led government headed by Yingluck Shinawatra to step down.
They were prosecuted in May 2014, but were not interrogated at the time because their protest had not yet ended.
The prosecutors therefore contacted the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) to summon the accused for inquiry and complete a case file, before sending it back to the prosecution service for further processing.
After the demonstration ended, the accused sought justice with the department and – more than three years on – the case is still undergoing the legal process.
Winyat Chatmontree, secretary-general of United Lawyers for Rights and Liberty, has now called for prosecutors responsible for the case to speed up their work as the DSI had already completed its own tasks.
There were no reasons for the prosecutors to delay the process any further, he insisted.
Winyat threatened to bring the case before the National Anti-Corruption Commission if the prosecutors failed to make any progress or report to the lawyers’ group within 15 days of its letter.
Wirun Chanthananan, special prosecutor at the Department of Special Litigation 4, accepted delivery of the letter and said its contents would be considered as well as submitted to the working panel for the case.
The prosecutor explained that the current state of play was that academic opinions were being sought on the case, while officials were deliberating how to handle the matter further.
Wirun said recently that the accused had asked for additional inquiries to be made again, and that officials were working on the request to see whether such a move was needed.