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Thai Protester’s Appeal Rejected.

17/01/2014

The following statement was issued Thursday 16 January, adding to the on-going saga of legal delays, brinkmanship, and incitement in Thailand’s political crisis.

“The Appeals Court of Thailand has rejected an appeal from anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban against the lower court’s approval of a warrant for his arrest on charges of illegal assembly of more than ten people and trespassing of government offices.”

“It ruled that the authority to issue arrest warrant rests with the judge of the lower court in accordance with Articles 66 and 59/1 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Therefore, the lower court’s decision not to accept Suthep’s appeal is legally justified. The arrest warrant for Suthep, secretary-general of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee, was requested by Bang Sue police. Additionally, Mr Suthep has another arrest warrant pending against him. The warrant was issued by the Criminal Court on December 2 as requested by Thung Song Hong police on insurrection charge.”

That does not mean that he WILL be arrested. Several warrants against a number of people have already been issued but not acted upon. The strategy from the government clearly seems to be not to ruffle any feathers. A warrant is obtained almost just as a formality to make the point that there has been a legal violation and is more a warning shot and a show of strength than anything else. The government knows it has to be careful when there are other influential forces of the elite present.

Prime Minister Yingluck is giving press conferences and working behind the scenes with those with influence but she is not engaging in any inciting argument. TV channels show Suthep and other anti-government protesters hectoring at the demonstrations and daily rallies. They report on the numbers attending with vivid pictures. In contrast, Yingluck’s comments come across as more sedate and perhaps businesslike and tactfully diplomatic.   

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One Comment
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