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Warrants for 18 PDRC leaders stay

THE CRIMINAL Court Thursday decided not to revoke arrest warrants against 18 leaders of the People's Democratic Reform Committee for violating the emergency decree.

Among the PDRC leaders for whom arrest warrants have been issued are Suthep Thaugsuban, Satit Wongnong-taey and Chumphon Junsai. The court said it had approved the warrants following a request by the Department of Special Investigation (DSI).

In his arguments, the lawyer for the PDRC leaders cited the Civil Court's ruling, which prohibited conduct that could limit the protesters' rights. The Criminal Court countered that the Civil Court's ruling was not final. Moreover, the ruling did not take into account measures imposed during a serious state of emergency. The court ruled that there was no reason to revoke the arrest warrants.

On Monday, the Criminal Court had rejected the DSI's request for arrest warrants against Phra Buddha Issara and 12 other protest leaders. The court had reasoned that the situation did not yet warrant their arrests.

Reacting to last week's Civil Court ruling, which allowed the emergency decree to be implemented but limited the scope of measures that could be employed, the Criminal Court said if any of the protest leaders were found to be violating the law, they could face legal action under criminal law.


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