Court rejects warrant requests for 13 protest leaders on insurrection charges


BANGKOK, Dec 9 – Thailand’s Criminal Court today rejected arrest warrants sought by the police for 13 anti-government protest leaders, saying the current situation does not warrant the request after the premier’s announcement of House dissolution.

Police earlier asked the court to approve arrest warrants for Satit Wongnongtoey, Jumpol Jullasai, Phuttipong Punnakanta, Issara Somchai, Witthaya Kaewparadai, Thaworn Senneam, Natthapon Teepsuwan, Ekanat Prompan, Anchalee Paireerak, Nitithorn Lamluea, Uthai Yodmanee, Samdin Lertbutr and Preecha Eiamsuwan for insurrection and inciting unrest.

The court dismissed the request, reasoning that there is insufficient grounds to issue the warrant against the 13 accused and that the tense situation is believed to have eased after Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra decided to dissolve the lower House.

However, the court said police investigators should summon the 13 protest leaders first.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul, in his capacity as director of the Centre for Administration of Peace and Order (CAPO), today appeared on national television urging the demonstrators to return home to avoid further damage to the country’s reputation after the prime minister has announced the House dissolution.

He said Thai people should help restore the country to normalcy as soon as possible.