Local PDRC leader goes after unindicted red shirt for 2009 ASEAN Summit siege

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Apparently unsatisfied that only 13 red-shirt leaders were sentenced to four years in jail for storming the ASEAN Summit in 2009, a Chonburi member of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee filed charges against an unindicted 14th member who he claims helped plot the operation at the Royal Cliff Grand Hotel.

Kantapon Sukumalin, a former member of the Chonburi Council from the Democrat Party, brought documents and videos from a 2009 red-shirt rally to Pattaya Police Station on March 17 to urge the jailing of Nattawut Saikua, secretary-general of the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship.

Kantapon Sukumalin hands his complaint over to Pattaya police superintendent Pol. Col. Sukthat Pumpunmuang.Kantapon Sukumalin hands his complaint over to Pattaya police superintendent Pol. Col. Sukthat Pumpunmuang.

Kantapon claimed that Nattawut hired red-shirt firebrand Arisman Pongruangrong and 12 others to breach security at the international conference in 2009, forcing world leaders to flee, some by helicopter. The event brought disgrace to Thailand and Chonburi, he said.

The Pattaya Provincial Court on March 5 sentenced Arisman and the dozen others to four years in prison for forcing their way into the venue of the 2009 ASEAN Summit. The protesters were demanding the ouster of the Abhisit Vejjajiva government.

Kantapon said his evidence showed that Nattawut, speaking with Arisman on a red-shirt stage later, bragged leaders had spent 180,000 baht to lay siege to the hotel, showing he was involved. But Nattawut was never indicted.

Pattaya police superintendent Pol. Col. Sukthat Pumpunmuang – the brother of Thailand’s national police chief – accepted the case, but said he could not promise how long prosecution would take.

Nattawut will be brought in for questioning, Sukthat said, and the money trail will be followed as part of the investigation.