Prosecutor indicts Phra Buddha Isara and 16 PDRC members with treason and terrorism charges

Activist monk Phra Buddha Isara and 16 members of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) were on Wednesday (March 14) indicated by the special public prosecutor with eight criminal charges, including treason and terrorism for their role in the “Bangkok Shutdown” anti-government protest in 2013.

Earlier on Jan 24, nine PDRC core leaders, headed by Suthep Thaugsuban were indicted with similar charges by the special public prosecutor.

After the indictment of the 17 PDRC members, Phra Buddha Isara said that he would seek justice from the court to spare those who were not directly involved as charged by not requiring them to attend court hearings because several of them have been indicted in several other cases.

Mr Suthep, meanwhile, only the nine core leaders, himself included, should be indicted because several people who were charged by the prosecutor did not block the election, intruded into government premises or committed any act of terrorism.

Several of them were lecturers who took to the stage to give speeches during the protests, but the prosecutor chose to indict all of them on serious criminal charges such as terrorism and treason, Mr Suthep explained.

The Department of Special Investigation decided to indict 58 people for their alleged role in the “Bangkok Shutdown” protest.  So far, 29 have been indicted.

The anti-government protests took place between November 2013 and May 2014 which  eventually led to a military coup that ousted the incumbent Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her cabinet.