Criminal Court grants bail to PDRC leader Sakonthee


BANGKOK, April 26 — Criminal Court on Saturday granted bail to anti-government protest leader Sakonthee Pattiyakul, accepting Bt600,000 in cash as collateral and barring him from inciting the general public and leaving the country.

Mr Sakonthee, a leading member of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) was arrested on Friday night by Immigration at Suvarnabhumi Airport as he was returning form the United States.

He was under an arrest warrant from Nonthaburi’s Pak Kred provincial police for leading protesters to intrude into government offices.

The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) escorted Mr Sakonthee to the Criminal Court this morning to ask court’s permission to detain him, after the DSI charged him with insurrection, instigating unrest in the kingdom and holding unlawful gatherings of more than 10 people.

The DSI has opposed the bail request on the grounds that these charges were serious crimes with severe punishment and that Mr Sakonthee would escape arrest and repeat his crimes.

Mr Sakonthee said he went to the United States since April 16 on a business trip and has already checked that there was no arrest warrant against him but he failed to recheck before he returned to the country. He was surprised to learn that he was under an outstanding arrest warrant issued on March 25.

He said he has no intention to escape, but was unaware that he was under an arrest warrant.

However, the PDRC leader said he was ready to fight the charges and denied all allegations against him.

The Court, at 2pm, granted bail for Mr Sakonthee and accepted Bt600,000 cash as bail bond under the condition that he will not leave the kingdom nor incite the public, and he must report himself to the Court at a time set by the Court. (MCOT online news)