Bangkok, the 22nd of August 2010: The four leaders, currently detained on terrorism charges relating to their roles in this years anti-government protests, appeared before the court facing charges of assembling in a group of more than 10 people, causing a disturbance and obstructing the operations of security officials.
Members of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), Veera Musikapong, Natthawut Saikua, Weng Tojirakarn and Wiphuthalaeng Pattanaphumthai were reportedly instrumental in the organisation of a thousands strong rally that ended in the besiegement of Privy Council president Tinsulanonda’s residence in Bangkok.
The anti-government rally, involving over 10,000 UDD supporters, marched to the home of the Privy Council president through the streets of Bangkok demanding his resignation as the top advisor to Thailand’s revered monarch King Bhumibol Adulyadej. On this occasion the UDD, branded as Red Shirts, protested sporting yellow-shirts in a sign of their support for the His Majesty despite their defiance of the Privy Councilor.
Prem Tinsulanonda, a former prime minister and army commander-in-chief, was accused by the UDD of abusing his power as the top advisor to the king and masterminding the military coup that ousted former premier Thaksin Shinawatra in 2006.
In an earlier court hearing, on July 8th 2010, the four leaders testified in court following the initial indictment, denying all charges. In addition, three other UDD leaders have already been indicted on similar charges last year, they are Nopparut Vorachitwutthikul, Veerasak Hemthilin, and Wanchai Naphuttha.