File photo : Thanathorn Jungrungruengkit//Prasert Thepsri
File photo : Thanathorn Jungrungruengkit//Prasert Thepsri

Update : Police get ready to tackle crowds when Thanathorn shows up to face sedition charges

Breaking News April 04, 2019 15:41

By Supachai Petchthawee
The Nation

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The Pathum Wan Police Station is getting ready to handle crowds when Future Forward Party leader shows up on Saturday to acknowledge sedition charges.

Thanathorn Jungrungruengkit and his party, which was formed in March last year, has been popular with the younger generation and according to unofficial election results, appears to have beaten old favourites like the Democrat Party.

The billionaire-turned-politician posted an image of the summonses on his Facebook page on Wednesday, saying this was an old political game.

It is believed that this post will motivate his supporters to show up at the police station on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Pol Maj-General Pattana Petyanawin, chief commander of city police, said he has already told Pathum Wan Police Station’s Pol Colonel Thammanoon Boonrueng to make preparations for Thanathorn’s visit.

He added that everything will be under control and peace will be maintained despite the expected large crowd. Pattana added that people who want to hold a demonstration on that day can do so, provided they seek permission and follow the law.

On Wednesday Thanathorn said he had no idea why he was being accused of sedition. He speculated that the legal action, which he referred to as “just an old political game”, was launched because his party did far better at the polls than expected.

“They are afraid because our policies drew the attention of 6.3 million voters,” he said. “These people supported us without us having to offer them any money incentives or other influence.”

However, deputy National Police chief Pol General Srivara Rangsibhramanakul dismissed claims of the warrant being politically motivated, saying that the charge is related to a case that happened in 2015, before the current Constitution went into effect.

On June 24, 2015 at about 10pm, a group of seven suspects, including Rangsiman Rome, refused to acknowledge the charges they faced at Pathum Wan Police Station, and instead waited nearby. They were later picked up by a white mini-van, which belonged to a firm owned by Thanathorn’s mother, Somporn.

Srivara claimed that Thanathorn was with the suspects on that day and that Somporn was aware of the case and had assigned lawyers to handle it.

“I can confirm that Thanathorn’s summonses is not politically motivated as the incident took place before the election. The proceedings were delayed due to the annual transfers of chief investigators,” he said.

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