Thailand’s Supreme Court has upheld the 4 year prison terms, without suspension, handed down by lower courts against two former core members of the red-shirt movement, otherwise known as the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), for their active involvement in the disruption of the ASEAN Summit in April 2009.
The Supreme Court’s verdict was read at Pattaya provincial court today (Tuesday) in the presence of defendants Mr. Worachai Hema and Mr. Samroeng Prajumrua.
Another defendant, Pol Lt-Col Waipote Arporn, a Palang Pracharat MP for Kamphaeng Phet province, was not present in court and assigned a representative to attend on his behalf.
The court later issued a warrant for Waipote’s arrest and scheduled January 15th for the reading of the verdict in the case against him.
In upholding the 4-year prison term against Worachai and Samroeng, the Supreme Court rejected the guilty plea of Worachai, Samroeng and Waipote, reasoning that a guilty plea must be submitted before the first court delivers its verdict to be taken into consideration when sentencing.
Eighteen UDD core members, most of whom were sentenced to four years in absentia, were charged with invasion of the ASEAN Summit, being held at the Royal Cliff Hotel in Pattaya, on April 11th 2009. The disruption forced the emergency evacuation of the ASEAN leaders by boat and helicopter.