• File phptp: Somkiart Pongpaibul
  • Chamlong Srimuang, former PAD leader, arrives at the Criminal Court Monday.
  • Somsak Kosaisuk
  • Suriyasai Katasila
  • Pipop Thongchai

Arrest warrant out for Somkiart as PAD case drags on

national June 19, 2017 12:25

By The Nation

The Criminal Court on Monday issued an arrest warrant for Somkiart Pongpaibul, a former leader of the now-defunct People’s Alliance for Democracy, after he failed to show up to hear an Appeals Court ruling on the group’s 2008 invasion of Government House.

The case has been postponed to next month as a result of his absence.

The court was ready at 10am to present the Appeals Court verdict against Chamlong Srimuang, Sondhi Limthongkul, Pipop Thongchai, Somskai Kosaisuk and Somkiart, all former leaders of the PAD, and former PAD coordinator Suriyasai Katasila.

The six were charged with organising the intrusion and seizure of the Government House compound during protests against then-prime minister Samak Sundaravej in 2008.

The reading of the verdict had already been postponed from May 16 after Chamlong indicated he could not attend due to illness.

On Monday, Somkiart’s lawyer told the court his client was suffering from nausea and presented a doctor’s certificate to that effect. The judge insisted on interviewing the doctor directly about Somkiart’s ailment, but the lawyer said the doctor was unavailable.

The court decided that, lacking convincing evidence that Somkiart was unwell, an arrest warrant for him would be issued and his Bt200,000 bail guarantee confiscated.

The reading of the verdict was rescheduled again, for July 24. The defendants were told that if they sought to be absent due to health reasons, their doctor would have to be in court.

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