Udon Thani’s Red-shirt chieftain Kwanchai given two years jailterm without suspension

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Former Red-Shirt chieftain of Udon Thani Kwanchai Sarakham (Praipana) has been sentenced to two years’ imprisonment in absentia by the Supreme Court after he was found guilty of attempted murder and assault charges.

He was also fined 350,000 baht while his guarantor was fined 500,000 baht.

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The Supreme Court’s verdict which was lighter than that imposed by the Appeals Court was read today (Tuesday) by Udon Thani provincial court. Present at the verdict-reading session were Kwanchai’s wife, Mrs Arporn and his lawyer, Mr Pin Thaksin, among others.

The case was instituted to the court by Mr Charoen Mookachornpan, a member of the People’s Alliance for Democracy, who accused Kwanchai of badly beating him up. The incident took place at Nongprachaksilpakhom park in Udon Thani municipality on July 24, 2008.

In deliberating the case, the Supreme Court decided to shorten the imprisonment for Kwanchai from two years and eight months to two years as it felt that the jailterm imposed by the Appeals Court was too heavy, said lawyer Pin. The jailterm was however not suspended.

Mrs Arporn told the media that she felt grateful to the court’s mercy for reducing the jailterm for her husband. She said she would try to contact him but didn’t know where he is.

However, she added that Kwanchai was heard speaking to a radio station on June 13 which coincided with his birthday. He reportedly said that he was fine but would not return to Thailand because of the absence of democracy in the country.