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Rally outside court was outrageous, judge says

A rally by protesters who carried the body of a convicted red shirt to the front of the Criminal Court was outrageous, but the court may not take legal action against the group, Chief Judge of the Criminal Court Tawee Prachuaplarp said yesterday.

He was referring to the red shirt rally on Friday by 50 people, who parked a pickup carrying the body of Wanchai Raksanguansilp, who was convicted of an arson attack on City Hall in Udon Thani two years ago. Protesters verbally attacked the court via loud speakers.

Wanchai, 30, was sentenced by the court in Udon Thani to 20 years and six months in jail for the arson attack and violating the Emergency Decree. He was held at Laksi Remand Prison but died on Thursday. The cause of his death is not known.

Judge Tawee said it was unreasonable for the group to rally, to attack the Criminal Court and place the body in front of the court as the Criminal Court in Bangkok had nothing to do with his case.

Wanchai's case was also different from Ampon Tangnoppakhun, a suspect in a lese majeste case.

He said he understood that the group was grieving. The court had not decided whether to take legal action against them.

Bangkok Remand Prison commander Sorasit Chongcharoen said the autopsy found Wanchai died from failed respiratory and blood-circulation systems. No trace of assault found.

The man looked healthy. His mother said her son used to complain of chest tightness so she advised him to tell the officials but he did not, Sorasit said.

Department of Correction chief Suchart Wongananchai had told officers to monitor the health of detainees at the prison in Laksi and there was a weekly check-up, Sorasit said.

There are 21 detainees, charged in relation to political incidents, at this prison. Stress is one of the prisoners' concerns.


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