No court ruling on bail for Red Shirt MPs

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BANGKOK, Nov 29 – Thailand’s Criminal Court did not give its ruling today on a petition to revoke bail for five Pheu Thai MPs on terrorism charges.

The five Red Shirt activists are protected by parliamentary immunity, but the parliamentary session ended yesterday.

The five include deputy commerce minister Nattawut Saikua, Karun Hosakul, Weng Tochirakarn, Wiputalang Pattanapumtai and Korkaew Pikunthong.

Mr Karun’s parliamentary status was disqualified by the Election Commission, pending a final verdict by the Supreme Court.

A Democrat MP earlier sought the Criminal Court’s order to revoke bail for the five MPs, charging them with criticising Constitution Court judges—a violation of their terms of bail.

Mr Nattawut told the Criminal Court that, while he was released on bail, his political activity was in accord with the democratic system and rallies of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) which he joined were without any weapons. He said he did not go on stage during the rallies.

Mr Karun admitted that he led a group of people to dismantle anti-flood big bags during the 2010 floods in Bangkok but it was meant to help people in getting their rehabilitation payments and he did not violate conditions set by the court.

Dr Weng told the court that his public address during a UDD demonstration was an exercise of his political right in a democratic system. He said his disclosure of Constitution Court judges’ telephone numbers was not made during the demonstration.

Mr Wiputalang said his political views were in line with the democratic system and that he knew nothing about the disclosure of the Constitution Court’s information which was made by Red Shirt activist Yossawaris Chuklom, known for his professional name as a comedian, Jeng Dokjik. He also denied any knowledge of a statement against the Constitution Court made by Mr Korkaew.

Mr Korkaew said he had no conflict with the Constitution Court. But the Criminal Court judge informed Mr Korkaew that the Constitution Court had submitted a petition and a recording, a VCD, confirming his threat (against the Constitution Court).

After their testimonies, the court allowed them to leave without any judgment, saying an additional hearing for Mr Korkaew would be needed.

Meanwhile, the Criminal Court called a hearing of 24 UDD suspects on terrorism charges today but only 23 of them appeared.

Arisman Pongruangrong, one of the 24 suspects, submitted a request for his absence through his lawyer, saying he was receiving medical treatment at a hospital.

The court set Dec 13 for the next hearing.