Ruling on bail hearings set for August 22
The Criminal Court on Thursday heard testimonies for and against revoking bail for 24 red shirt leaders who are being tried for terrorism charges in connection with the 2010 political strife.
The court is scheduled to hand down its ruling on August 22. In an earlier decision, the court ruled to defer the bail hearing for five of the 24 defendants on the grounds that they had parliamentary immunity.
The hearing for the five has been rescheduled to November 22, following the House adjournment.
The five are Deputy Agriculture Minister Natthawut Saikua and four Pheu Thai MPs, weng Tojirakarn, Kokaew Pikulthong, Wiphuthalang Phatthanaphumthai and Karun Hosakul.
In his capacity as complainant, Democrat MP Nipit Intarasombat testified that defendant Yotwarit Chooklom, aka Jeng Dokjik, had violated his bail conditions in connection with his rally speech attacking the Constitution Court in its review of the charter amendment bill.
Nipit said Yotwarit had urged the red shirts to "visit" the homes of the high court's judges after disclosing the addresses and telephone numbers of the judges and their family members.
He said the judges later received a surge in hatred calls. Yotwarit's remarks could be construed as inciting the masses to harass and intimidate, which in his opinion, violated the conditions for temporary release.
Following his testimony, the defence team moved a motion to postpone the hearing on Yotwarit on the grounds that the complainant had just submitted evidence, including an audio clip of Yotwarit's speeck. The defence wanted to examine whether the clip was doctored before presenting rebuttals.
The presiding judges denied the defence motion because the rally speeches were of public record and accessible to all sides.
Yotwarit then took the witness stand to testify in his defence. The gist of his statement was that the complainant was not an injured party in connection with his rally speech as well as his trial on terrorism, hence should not be entitled to question his compliance with bail conditions.
He added that he was a comedian before joining the red shirt movement.
"It is natural that my remarks should mirror my sense of humour," he said, voicing his belief that he has the right to be critical of an independent organisation like the high court.