BANGKOK – Sakonthee Pattiyakul, a co-leader of the anti-government protest of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) was arrested on Friday night by Immigration at Suvarnabhumi Airport as he was returning form the United States.
Mr Sakonthee was detained at 11pm and charged with leading protesters to intrude into government offices. Police would seek court permission to detain him at the Criminal Court and oppose any bail attempt.
He was under an arrest warrant from Nonthaburi’s Pak Kred provincial police for intruding into government offices.
The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) today led him to the Criminal Court to ask court permission to detain him.
DSI secretary general Tarit Pengdith said DSI would initially charge him for insurrection, intrusion into government offices, obstructing the general election and would consider additional charges against him.
The PDRC protest leader and PDRC secretary general Suthep Thaugsuban said he has been informed about the Sakonthee arrest and has assigned lawyers to seek bail for him.
Mr Suthep was leading the PDRC protesters to march on the Thonburi side of Bangkok at Arun Amarin Road, passing Siriraj Hospital, Pran Nok Road to Issaraphap Road to Wong Wian Yai roundabout for nine kilometres to invite public to join the final mass rally.
PDRC spokesman Akanat Phrompan said that Mr Suthep has talked on the telephone with Mr Sakonthee and told him that PDRC lawyers would help him with regards to the legal procedure.
Mr Akanat said the police has authority to detain him for two days and would seek the Court’s permission to further detain him. The PDRC would seek Court permission to release on bail and affirmed that Sakonthee would not flee. It would depend on the Court’s decision to grant bail or not, he said.
Criminal Court on Saturday granted bail to anti-government protest leader Sakonthee Pattiyakul, accepting Bt600,000 in cash as collateral and barring him from inciting the general public and leaving the country.
Mr Sakonthee, a leading member of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) was arrested on Friday night by Immigration at Suvarnabhumi Airport as he was returning form the United States.
He was under an arrest warrant from Nonthaburi’s Pak Kred provincial police for leading protesters to intrude into government offices.
The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) escorted Mr Sakonthee to the Criminal Court this morning to ask court’s permission to detain him, after the DSI charged him with insurrection, instigating unrest in the kingdom and holding unlawful gatherings of more than 10 people.
The DSI has opposed the bail request on the grounds that these charges were serious crimes with severe punishment and that Mr Sakonthee would escape arrest and repeat his crimes.
Mr Sakonthee said he went to the United States since April 16 on a business trip and has already checked that there was no arrest warrant against him but he failed to recheck before he returned to the country. He was surprised to learn that he was under an outstanding arrest warrant issued on March 25.
He said he has no intention to escape, but was unaware that he was under an arrest warrant.
However, the PDRC leader said he was ready to fight the charges and denied all allegations against him.
The Court, at 2pm, granted bail for Mr Sakonthee and accepted Bt600,000 cash as bail bond under the condition that he will not leave the kingdom nor incite the public, and he must report himself to the Court at a time set by the Court