In a setback for the People's Democratic Reform Committee, the Criminal Court on Wednesday approved arrest warrants for its chief Suthep Thaugsuban and 18 other leaders.
The court announced that it had considered the evidence of police and believes that Suthep and the 18 other PDRC leaders collaborated to create emergency situations.
The 18 other PDRC leaders are Satit Wongnongtaey, Chumpol Julasai, Buddhipongse Punnakanta, Isara Somchai, Witthaya Kaewparadai, Thaworn Senneam, Nataphol Teepsuwan, Akanat Promphan, Anchalee Paireerak, Nititorn Lamlua, Uthai Yodmanee, Samdin Lertbutr, Preecha Iamsuphan, Ratchayut Siriyothinphakdee, Kittichai Saisa-ard, Samran Rodphet, Sonthiyan Chuenruethainaitham, and Phansuwan Nakaew.
Police alleged that the 19 had violated Article 11 and Article 12 of the emergency decree.
In approving the warrants, the court said 18 witnesses as well as evidence, particularly video CDs, provided sufficient grounds to suspect that the 19 PDRC leaders had collaborated, instigated or supported actions that caused emergency situations.
The court would thus allow police to arrest and detain the 19 suspects until such time as the emergency situation had eased.
The court said the 19 suspects must be detained at the Border Patrol Police Region 1 in Pathum Thani’s Klong Luang district.
The court also ordered police to file a report of the arrests with photos to the court within 48 hours of their taking place.
The court said if police failed to make arrests within a year of the warrants being approved, the court might summon the officers for questioning and cancel the warrants.
The court told police that they could not make the warrants public by posting them on social and online media. Nor could they distribute copies of the warrants by dropping them from a helicopter or a plane.
Pol Maj Gen Kachornsak Parnsakhon, deputy metropolitan police chief and chief investigator in this case, said police would try to arrest the 19 suspects without suppressing the demonstrations..
Satit said the PDRC’s would appeal against the warrant. He said he would not try to escape arrest.
Earlier, the Criminal Court approved an arrest warrant for Suthep on sedition charges.