Constitution Court will clarify on Monday bid to revoke Jatuporn's bail
The Constitution Court will tomorrow clarify its move to file a petition seeking revocation of red-shirt leader Jatuporn Promphan's bail on terrorism charges, court spokesman Somrit Chaiwong said yesterday.
Somrit said on Thursday he was assigned by the court to file the petition seeking revocation of Jatuporn's bail, taking recourse to the court's authority and rights, adding that court secretary-general Chavana Trimat would hold a press conference to explain the issue tomorrow.
Constitution Court chairman Wasant Soypisut said he had been informed about the petition on Thursday, but had not seen it. He said the Office of the Constitution Court - and not the Constitution Court judges themselves - had initiated the move, as the officials believed they had to safeguard the judges.
"They want the judges to be able to carry out their duty smoothly and without interference, pressure, threats or intimidation. Not long ago, my driver received a phone threat that my house and my office would be raided. My office is concerned about my safety,'' Wasant said.
Jatuporn on Friday threatened to file a police complaint against the Constitution Court for making a false statement against him.
The case came to light on Thursday after the high court authorised its legal counsel to file a petition seeking revocation of the Criminal Court's decision to grant Jatuporn temporary release.
The Office of the Constitution Court in October filed a complaint with the Crime Suppression Division over Jatuporn's threat to expose negative information about Constitution Court judges if they did not dissolve the Democrat Party. The case is still under police investigation.
Democrat spokesman Chavanond Intarakomalyasut warned that if Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra did not rein in Jatuporn, he would become a liability for the government and cause a new round of political conflict.
Criminal Court chief justice Thawee Prachuablap said the court had accepted the Constitution Court's petition to revoke Jatuporn's bail and has asked Jatuporn to give a statement on July 23.
Thawee dismissed Jatuporn's claim that the Constitution Court did not have the authority to take such action as it had nothing to do with the terrorism charges against him. He said Jatuporn's behaviour, which has received media attention, had an impact on society and affected his bail conditions.
Critics of the Constitution Court's move have accused officials of discriminating against Jatuporn, as there were also others who had publicly revealed Constitution Court judges' telephone numbers and addresses in a move to intimidate them, but only Jatuporn was being singled out. Thawee denied any discrimination, and said that after hearing from Jatuporn officials may summon the others, too.
In a related development, a senior MP of the ruling Pheu Thai Party said he expected the Constitution Court to rule that the government-sponsored constitutional-amendment
bill violated the charter's Article 291, on grounds that the article allows changes to individual
constitutional clauses, not the writing of an entirely new constitution.
Apiwan Wiriyachai, chief of the Pheu Thai MPs and formerly a deputy House speaker, said many government supporters would be dissatisfied with such a verdict, but he did not think it would lead to street protests against the court.