Watch your tongue, court tells Jatuporn
The Criminal Court yesterday said another hearing was needed on August 9 on whether to grant a Constitution Court request for red-shirt leader Jatuporn PromphanHowever, the court advised him to abide by the law, be careful about his public remarks - particularly at political rallies - and avoid any act that would infringe on the rights and liberties of other people, for the sake of peace in the country.
Jatuporn, who is also an MP for the ruling Pheu Thai Party, has been accused by the Constitution Court of threatening its judges before the court was to hand down its verdict on the constitutional amendment case on July 13. In yesterday's hearing, Jatuporn told the Criminal Court he simply exercised his right to criticise certain Constitution Court judges - but he denied making any threats against them.
Jatuporn and other red-shirt leaders have been granted bail despite being charged with terrorism and causing unrest in connection with the 2010 riots.
After Jatuporn's testimony yesterday, the court concluded there was no clear evidence he committed any violation of the law. There was a need to question other defendants, so the court scheduled another hearing at 9am on August 9.
Jatuporn's lawyer Winyat Chartmontri asked the Criminal Court to give a guideline on what could be done or not.
The red-shirt leader told reporters later that the court did not prohibit him from addressing red-shirt rallies but that he was advised to be careful about his words - "which I will follow".
A number of Jatuporn's red-shirt supporters gathered in front of the Criminal Court yesterday under the watchful eyes of some 70 police.
Meanwhile, Natthawut Saikua, another red-shirt leader, expressed confidence yesterday that the Criminal Court would not withdraw bail granted to Jatuporn and other red-shirt leaders accused of having threatened the judges.
"I believe the court will understand the situation and ensure justice [for Jatuporn]," said Natthawut, who is also deputy agriculture minister.
But he still insisted the Constitution Court had no power to rule on the case filed against the proponents of constitutional amendment.
Cases against him
Cases against red-shirt leader Jatuporn Prompan, and where the cases are now
- Terrorism case: Jatuporn granted bail. (Currently being probed by the Department of Special Investigation.)
- Libel case: Jatuporn in 2009 gave a press interview accusing then prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva of inappropriate conduct during an audience with the King. The Criminal Court on July 10 found Jatuporn guilty of libel and handed down a six-month jail term suspended for two years due to it being his first offence.
- Libel case: Jatuporn in 2009 made an accusation against Abhisit in relation to an attack on Abhisit's vehicle at the Interior Ministry and Abhisit's involvement in the dispersal of red-shirt protesters in 2009. (Currently in the court-hearing process.)
- Libel case: At a rally, Jatuporn accused Abhisit of seizing His Majesty the King's power and of involvement in chaos at the Din Daeng Triangle, Petchaburi Road and in Pattaya. (Currently in the court-hearing process.)
- Libel case: Jatuporn accused Abhisit of ordering the killings of people and of evading conscription. (Currently in the court-hearing process.)
- Libel case: Jatuporn read a court verdict on his TV programme allegedly causing viewers to misunderstand that Teepsurang Pukditanakul, the wife of Constitution Court judge Jaran, is a bad person. (Currently in the court-hearing process.)