Thai court drops activists’ terrorism charges over 2008 airport shutdown

Thai court drops activists’ terrorism charges over 2008 airport shutdown
Thai court drops activists’ terrorism charges over 2008 airport shutdown

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Backed by Bangkok’s elites, the People’s Alliance for Democracy—as the group was also known—halted their action after a ruling by the Constitutional Court dismissed then prime minister Somchai Wongsawat from office. — AFP pic

BANGKOK, Jan 17 — A court in Thailand dismissed today terrorism charges against 31 anti-government protest leaders who occupied Bangkok’s international airports in 2008.

The so-called “Yellow Shirt” movement took control of the city’s two airports for more than a week—causing international headlines, stranding hundreds of thousands, and ending only with the dismissal of the then-prime minister.

“The (Criminal) court said the protest by all 31 defendants was peaceful and within their rights and freedoms,” lawyer Praphan Koonmee, among the defendants, told local media.

Authorities were pursuing a case against 32 people, but one died before the ruling.

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Backed by Bangkok’s elites, the People’s Alliance for Democracy—as the group was also known—halted their action after a ruling by the Constitutional Court dismissed then prime minister Somchai Wongsawat from office.

Somchai was the brother-in-law of billionaire former leader Thaksin Shinawatra, a controversial figure loathed by many Bangkok elites who had himself been ousted in a 2006 coup.

Local media also reported that 13 of the defendants must pay a fine for violating the emergency decree that was then in place. — AFP

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