February 25, 2014 00:00 By Kesinee Taengkhiao
The Criminal Court yesterday rejected the Department for Special Investigation's (DSI) request for arrest warrants against Phra Buddha Issara and 12 other protest leaders.
The court’s reasoning was that the situation was not urgent enough to warrant the arrests.
The DSI is pushing for the detention of People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) leaders, including Somkiat Pongpaiboon, Somsak Kosaisuk, Rawee Maschamadol, Chitpas Kridakorn, Sakoltee Phattiyakul, Sombat Thamrongthanyawong and Seree Wongmontha.
Citing last week’s Civil Court ruling – which allowed the emergency decree to be implemented but limited the measures that can be employed against protesters – the Criminal Court said that if any of the protest leaders were found to be violating the law, they could face legal action under criminal law.
The DSI has been seeking the arrest warrants on allegations that the 13 had violated the emergency decree. Meanwhile, the court will on Thursday decide whether it should revoke the arrest warrants issued earlier against PDRC leader Suthep Thaugsuban and 18 other protest leaders for violating the emergency decree.
Caretaker Labour Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung, who is also Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order (CMPO) chief, said yesterday that the documents were not ready yet, but that he would appeal the Civil Court’s ruling in a few days.
Meanwhile, he said, the CMPO would use the criminal law, adding that there was no plan to revoke the emergency decree.
He said the CMPO would also ask the Civil Court to withhold its order.