13 red shirts convicted of arson govt offices granted bail: Justice Minister

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BANGKOK, June 22 – A Thai court has granted temporary release to 13 red shirt protesters appealing their convictions for setting fire to municipal and other government offices in four upcountry locations and intruding upon official premises during the 2010 political chaos, Justice Minister Pracha Promnog said on Friday.

The justice minister said the ministry has prepared Bt26 million as bail bond for the temporary release of United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) members arrested and convicted for their roles in the political unrest in 2010 for breaching the security law, invading state-owned buildings, damaging assets and setting city halls and municipal offices on fire.

Gen Pracha said bail for the detainees on political cases has been conducted by the Rights and Liberties Protection Department and the Lawyer’s Council of Thailand.

The bail requests have been sought at provincial courts for 31 red shirts — four at Ubon Rachathani, five at Udon Thani, nine at Maha Sarakam and 13 at Mukdahan.

The minister said Mukdahan court decided to grant bail for 13 detainees and the Rights and Liberties Protection Department will pose altogether Bt26 million or Bt2 million as collateral for each of them on Monday.

Gen Pracha noted that the collateral was high as the 13 were earlier convicted for 20 years and eight months in jail, consider a heavy penalty. They are now appealing the court verdict.

The minister said the remaining detainees are waiting for decision from Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani and Maha Sarakam courts, while another 14 persons were detained by the Bangkok court and the Rights and Liberties Protection Department will also provide them legal assistance.