Watana Muangsook
Watana Muangsook

Watana accused of instigation ahead of Yingluck verdict

politics July 29, 2017 01:00

By THE NATION

POLICE HAVE accused Pheu Thai Party key politician Watana Muangsook of instigating the public ahead of the August 25 court verdict in the negligence case against former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra.



Special Branch police officers filed a complaint with the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) against Watana on Thursday in connection with his Facebook message posted on Monday, CSD superintendent Pol Colonel Thongchai Yooket said yesterday.

According to the complaint, Watana’s message was intended to mislead public members about the justice system and the government, involving the actions over the Yingluck administration’s rice-pledging scheme, Thongchai said.

Watana was accused by Special Branch police of public instigation under Article 116 of the Penal Code.

On Thursday, police sought arrest warrants for three people suspected of instigation ahead of the August 25 court verdict by the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Political Office Holders.

Deputy national police chief General Srivara Ransibrahmanakul had said that the request was made on Wednesday but he declined to elaborate or identify the suspects. “We are waiting for a decision by the court as to whether to issue the requested arrest warrants,” Srivara had said, adding that the three were among a group of people who were being monitored by police.

A source said police have found some posts by the persons deemed to instigate unrest as they invited Yingluck’s supporters to come out to show support on the day. The police were gathering evidence and have filed a charge against them, according to the source.

Watana said on his Facebook that he would comment on the latest charge against him today.

Nattawut Saikua, another Pheu Thai politician, said yesterday that the red-shirts have no plot to instigate unrest ahead of the verdict, as had been alleged.

He is also a key red-shirt leader from the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD).

Large crowds of Yingluck supporters are expected to gather on the day the court delivers its verdict, and authorities have warned against possible unrest. 

However, Nattawut yesterday downplayed such fear, saying that most key figures of the UDD have been followed and are under watch by authorities.