Court issues warrant to arrest protest leader Suthep

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BANGKOK, Nov 26 – The Criminal Court today issued a warrant to arrest former Democrat MP Suthep Thaugsuban for instigating unrest and work stoppages, seizing state buildings and forcing civil servants from their offices following a request by police.

Deputy Metropolitan Police Commander Kachornsak Pansakorn and Bang Sue police officers appeared at the Criminal Court with the petition and evidence asking  for an arrest warrant for Mr Suthep who led anti-government protesters to storm into the Finance Ministry and nearby buildings yesterday.

They accused the former deputy premier of spearheading the demonstration at the Democracy Monument, instigating employees to stop working and leading a massive intrusion into the Budget Bureau, Finance Ministry and Public Relations Department yesterday. The Public Relations Department is adjacent to the Finance Ministry.

Police also charged Mr Suthep with verbally encouraging the public to violate the law, and gathering with more than 10 people to assault, threaten to assault and create chaos in the country.

Pol Maj Gen Kachornsak said police were compiling witnesses and evidence to seek arrests for other accomplices.

Paradorn Pattanatabut, Secretary General of the National Security Council, said after an urgent meeting with senior security officials that Deputy Prime Minister Pracha Promnok has assigned police representatives to hold talks with Mr Suthep while the public would be told of limits to their freedom of expression in  demonstrations to avoid their breaching the laws.

He said Mr Suthep must report to the court December 12 and his continued movement will jeopardise his chance for bail.

Pol Maj Gen Thawat Boonfuang, deputy secretary general to the prime minister, said the demonstration– which has escalated beyond the legal limit– could result in treason charges against Mr Suthep.

He said the enforcement of the Internal Security Act to cover the entirety of Bangkok and parts of nearby provinces was one of the elements to control the massive demonstration and the number of protesters should dwindle.