The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search


Suthep among PDRC leaders jailed for ‘Shutdown Bangkok’ protests, current serving ministers sacked

Suthep among PDRC leaders jailed for ‘Shutdown Bangkok’ protests, current serving ministers sacked

BANGKOK: A major reshuffle is on the cards after three Cabinet ministers were among 26 people who were on Wednesday (Feb 24) given varying jail sentences for their roles in street protests that ousted the Yingluck administration.

politics
By Bangkok Post

Thursday 25 February 2021, 12:22PM


Former People’s Democratic Reform Committee members, led by Suthep Thaugsuban, (centre) arrive at the Criminal Court on Wednesday (Feb 24) to hear the ruling on their street rallies to oust the Yingluck Shinawatra government. Photo: Chanat Katanyu / Bangkok Post

Former People’s Democratic Reform Committee members, led by Suthep Thaugsuban, (centre) arrive at the Criminal Court on Wednesday (Feb 24) to hear the ruling on their street rallies to oust the Yingluck Shinawatra government. Photo: Chanat Katanyu / Bangkok Post

Digital Economy and Society Minister Buddhipongse Punnakanta, Education Minister Nataphol Teepsuwan, both from the ruling Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP), and Deputy Transport Minister Thaworn Senneam from the Democrat Party were found guilty by the Criminal Court of charges relating to demonstrations led by the now-defunct People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC).

They were indicted on several charges including insurrection, criminal association, illegal assembly and obstructing others from casting votes during street protests between November 2013 and May 2014 to oust the Yingluck Shinawatra government, reports the Bangkok Post.

Mr Buddhipongse was sentenced to seven years; Mr Nataphol received seven years and four months and Mr Thaworn received five years.

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said on Wednesday the Cabinet ministers lost their posts as soon as the jail sentences were handed down, citing Section 160 (7) of the 2017 constitution.

The section says that a Cabinet minister must not be a person who is sentenced to prison, regardless of whether the case is finalised or the jail term is suspended, except in cases where the charge is a minor one or involves defamation.

Asked if the three Cabinet ministers would also lose their MP status, Mr Wissanu said they would keep their parliamentary status if the court did not slap a political ban.

Reports emerged that Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Thamanat Prompow and Deputy Labour Minister Narumon Pinyosinwat are eyeing the posts left vacant by Mr Buddhiponse and Mr Nataphol.

The trio were among 39 people who were indicted on multiple charges and who pleaded not guilty during their arraignment at the Criminal Court in 2018. The treason charge against the 39 defendants was dropped. As the trial proceeded, one of the defendants, Gen Preecha Iamsupan, died.

Thanyapura

All defendants, apart from one, turned up for the ruling yesterday. Pol Lt Col Pattarapong Supiyapanich, who was detained in another case, heard the ruling via a video conference. Of the remaining 38 defendants, 26 were given varying jail sentences. The court suspended the terms for 12 while not doing so for the remaining 14.

The court started reading the ruling shortly before 11am and finished at 5:20pm.

Besides the Cabinet ministers, former PDRC leader Suthep Thaugsuban received five years; Democrat MP for Chumphon, Chumpol Julasai, received 11 years and Democrat list-MP Isara Somchai received eight years and four months.

Suvit Thongprasert, formerly known as Luang Pu Buddha Isara, was sentenced to four years and eight months while activist Samran Rodpetch was given three years and four months.

In its ruling, the court revoked the political rights of six people – Mr Nataphol, Ms Taya Teepsuwan, Mr Chumpol, Mr Isara, Mr Suvit and Mr Samran. Among those who received suspended jail terms were TV host Anchalee Paireerak, Thai-Indian businessman Satish Sehgal, Mr Nataphol’s wife – Taya, and former Democrat MP Witthaya Kaewparadai.

Those who were acquitted included Democrat MPs Sathit Wongnongtoey and Rangsima Rodrassamee, PPRP MP and deputy leader Paiboon Nititawan, and senator Thawil Pliensri.

Mr Suthep wrote on his Facebook that even though key PDRC leaders and supporters were sentenced to prison, they remain committed to upholding the nation, religion and the monarchy.

After the ruling, eight people were escorted to prison including Mr Suthep, Mr Chumpol and the three Cabinet ministers.

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

CAPTCHA

Kurt | 27 February 2021 - 09:58:30

Well, all 'convicted jailers' walked out of prison on bail (BP) after 2 nights.. Nicely dressed in same t-shirts and shorts. Question, why are these recent protesting students, not yet convicted in court (!), still in jail? Student protests had lesser impact than the 'Suthep protests' in 2013-'14.  Is this to prove/confirm that Thai law enforcement is not the same for everyone ...

Kurt | 26 February 2021 - 01:17:08

Mr Suthep must feel very disappointed that his 1 years escape as a monk at the end not pays off.

Kurt | 26 February 2021 - 01:14:08

A minister should not be convicted/in prison before? What about that present 'eying' minister-Captain Thamanat for a better post, who was a drugs gang leader and many years serving jail time in Australia? When any self respect of Government will be seen?

Kurt | 26 February 2021 - 01:03:16

What is that with Thai? Constant living in the past. This all is about period 2013-2014. What a waist of time, energy and handling. Is this a example of '''Thai justice served'''?  Never a eye/thinking/energy focusing on the future. Never something smart? Sad nation. Poor people 'in the street' to see rulings like this at times more important matters should be taken...

 

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Phuket arrivals in other provinces face quarantine measures

Can someone please explain to 'Christy Sweet', in simple language......(Read More)


Sustainably Yours: Science and Conspiracy Theories

When basic facts cannot be agreed upon, meaningful discourse is not possible. News sites giving in ...(Read More)


Sustainably Yours: Science and Conspiracy Theories

mich, are you wearing your tin foil hat? Wow! ...(Read More)


Entertainment venue closure extended, snorkeling and diving prohibited

Dear Foot, for what I know Cafè del Mar, Illuzion and Shelter only hosted the event. The Bkk based ...(Read More)


Entertainment venue closure extended, snorkeling and diving prohibited

Charles @i am working on the assumption that diving or snorkeling off the beach is ok, people cramme...(Read More)


30 Chalong Police officers ordered to self-quarantine

Please, no playing down- or damage control games. This is serious. 30 officers now at home, possible...(Read More)


COVID passenger warning for Phuket flights

The photos are clearly showing that per 5 rows on both sides only 1 window seat can be safely occupi...(Read More)


CAAT wants late-night flights scrapped to curb COVID spread

What’s the difference between night time flights vs day time? The people who would have flown on t...(Read More)


COVID passenger warning for Phuket flights

When they start fast testing/swapping prior the flight take off? Ask people to be in airport 3 hrs p...(Read More)