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Thailand's PAD lodges opposition to police charge of international terrorism
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14:10, July 16, 2009

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Two lawyers of the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) Thursday lodged opposition to a police charge of international terrorism with investigators at the Royal Thai Police Sports Club in capital Bangkok.

On July 4, Bangkok's police issued a summons for 36 PAD leaders and co-leaders to question them on alleged involvement in the seizure of Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports last year. All of them are scheduled to report to the police on Thursday.

The two lawyers, Suwat Apaipak and Nitithorn Lamlua, said the charge of the international terrorism was extremely strong as the PAD rallies at the two airports were peaceful without any weapon, according to Thai language news agency INN.

The two lawyers said of the total seven charges earlier filed against the 36 PAD leaders and co-leaders, the hardest one is the terrorism charge under Article 6 (bi) of the Criminal Code, which carries the strongest punishment of a death sentence.

Now, an investigative team, which is headed by Pol Lt-General Wut Puawes, assistant chief of the National Police Commission, is considering the opposition.

Over 20 of the total 36 PAD leaders and co-leaders also arrived at the Royal Thai Police Sports Club, however, they did not go to meet with the investigators inside the Royal Thai Police Sports Club as they did not accept the police charge.

The PAD leaders and co-leaders had arrived at the Royal Thai Police Sports Club to express the opposition to the police charge, Thai language news agency Krungthep Turakij Online quoted Suriyasai Katasila, PAD coordinator, as saying.

If the PAD had gone to acknowledge of the police allegation, it meant that the accused PAD people accepted the police charge of the international terrorism, Suriyasai said.

The investigators were obligated to acknowledge the PAD dispute to the terrorism charge and they might probably upgrade the summons for questioning to arrested warrants, but the PAD leaders and co-leaders will deny the charge in courts only, he added.

Meanwhile, outside the Royal Thai Police Sports Club apart from the PAD leaders and co-leaders, hundreds of yellow shirts from upcountry rallied to show their moral support to the accused PAD people.

The PAD people have opposed the ousted former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra as well as the last two Thaksin-affiliated administrations.

The PAD group has gained the worldwide notice late 2008 when they besieged two Bangkok international airports for nine days as the leverage to force then Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat's government to dissolve.

Source: Xinhua

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