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Democrats, PAD press NACC to appeal 2008 case ruling

politics August 06, 2017 19:56

By The Nation

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Top figures from the Democrat Party and the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) on Sunday urged the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) to appeal the acquittal of former premier Somchai Wongsawat three former powerful officials.

Their acquittal has disappointed victims of the police crackdown on yellow-shirt protesters outside parliament in 2008 that left two dead and more than 300 injured. 

One of the accused officials, Pol General Patcharawat Wongsuwan, is the brother of current Deputy PM and Defence Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan. Prawit is widely considered the second most powerful figure in the ruling junta after PM General Prayut Chan-o-cha.

Democrat deputy leader Ongart Klampaiboon said the NACC should use its constitutional right to appeal the case. The new charter’s Article 195 stipulates that a verdict from the Supreme Court can be appealed within 30 days of the ruling.

“The appeal will guarantee justice to all sides, the protesters as well as the accused authorities. It will also clarify social doubts against the NACC,” Ongart said.

Former PAD leader Suriyasai Katasila said the PAD plans to press the NACC tomorrow to make an appeal. “We hope the NACC will justify itself that this matter was not influenced by the powers-that-be,” Suriyasai said.

The protester-turned-lecturer reiterated that the PAD movement has no political agenda as suspected by the junta, but only sought justice.

Meanwhile, former NACC commissioner Vicha Mahakun, who was responsible for filing the case in the court, said the decision on whether to appeal rested with the current NACC.

“We have to look at several readings when considering this case,” Vicha said. “Parts of this case went through the Administrative Court, which did rule that the authorities did commit wrongdoing in the case. Any other consideration, then, should go in line with this ruling.”