31 Activists in airport closures protest charged with terrorism


BANGKOK, March 15 – The Thai Criminal Litigation Office has formally charged 31 political activists with terrorism and intruding into Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi and Don Meaung airports in 2008, when both airports were forced to close.

In a lawsuit to the Criminal Court on Thursday, the state attorney accused the 31 defendants, including leaders of the People’s Alliance for Democracy, (the Yellow Shirt group), of jointly using force to coerce and assault others with the purposes of instigating unrest and changes in the country’s laws and government as well as breaking into the two airports.

The court accepted the case and set the first hearing for April 29. The defendants permitted bail at Bt800,000 bonds each.

Seventeen defendants appeared at court to hear the charges while the remaining 14 appeared in court on Dec 27 last year to acknowledge charges of intruding into Government House and were bailed out.

The 31 defendants were retired Maj Gen Chamlong Srimuang, Sondhi Limthongkul, Pipob Thongchai, Somsak Kosaisuk, Suriyasai Katasila, Somkiat Pongpaiboon, Sirichai Mai-ngam, Samran Rodpetch, Maleerat Kaewka, Savit Kaeowan, Pol Lt Col Santana Prayoonrat, Chana Pasuksakul, Ratchayuth or Amorn Amornratananond, Prapan Koonmee, Therdpoom Chaidee, Anchalee Paireerak, Pichit aka Tum Chaimongkol, Banchong Nasae, Sumitr Nuanmanee, Pichet Patanachote, Somboon Thongburan, Atiwat Bunchart, Chamroon Na-Ranong, Saengtham Chunchadathorn, Taikorn Polsuwan, Suchart Srisang, Amnart Palamee, Pol Gen Pratin Santiprapob, Kriangsak Liewchanpatana, Kittichai aka Jorges Saisa-ard and ASTV (Thailand) Co.

There are 114 defendants in the case and lawsuits against the others will soon be filed with the Criminal Court.