12 red shirts jailed for town hall fires – Bangkok Post, August 25, 2011
…The most notable defendant–well-known radio host Pichet Thabutda–was given a one-year jail term for fomenting unrest by persuading others to join in the riot. Pichet, also known as DJ Toy, was acquitted of other charges because he convinced the court that he was not at the provincial hall when the fire started.
…About 200 red shirts showed up to give the defendants moral support.
[2015 note: Like many Thai newspaper articles from just a few years ago, this article is no longer online. Below is the complete text of the original article.]
12 red shirts jailed for town hall fires
Terms range from 8 months to 34 years
Published: 25/08/2011 at 12:00 AM
Twelve red-shirt protesters have been sentenced to jail for terms ranging from eight months to 34 years for their involvement in the arson attack on Ubon Ratchathani provincial hall during anti-government rioting last year.
On May 20, 2010, the day after the military crackdown and arson in Bangkok, red shirt demonstrators broke into the Ubon Ratchathani province hall and burnt the building. (Reuters photo)
They were among 21 defendants on trial for involvement in the arson attack on the hall last May.
All of the defendants were originally charged with violating international security law, terrorism and arson.
The verdict, originally scheduled to be read on Sept 5 by the Ubon Ratchathani provincial court, was moved to yesterday.
Nine of the defendants were acquitted for lack of evidence. The most notable defendant _ well-known radio host Pichet Thabutda _ was given a one-year jail term for fomenting unrest by persuading others to join in the riot. Pichet, also known as DJ Toy, was acquitted of other charges because he convinced the court that he was not at the provincial hall when the fire started.
Four rioters _ Patama Moolmee, Thirawat Sajasuwan, Somsak Prasansap, and Sanong Ketsuwan _ were first given life in prison, but their sentences were commuted to 34 years in jail because they had confessed.
Another four people _ Pradit Boonsuk, Likhit Suthiphan, Chaiya Deesaeng, and Pisut But-amkha _ were sentenced to three years in jail but the sentences were commuted to two years after they confessed.
The other three defendants _ Ubon Saentaweesuk, Supoj Duang-ngam, and On-anong Banpachart _ were each given one-year in jail, but the sentences were reduced to eight months after they had confessed.
The remaining suspects were acquitted, among them Thanusil Thanuthong, 52, who was wrongfully detained.
At a Truth for Reconciliation Commission of Thailand hearing in April, Pol Col Aiyasoon Singhanat, then Ubon Ratchathani deputy police commander, conceded police had wrongfully arrested one man on an arrest warrant that had been based on a still photograph.
Dokchan Thanuthong, 47, Thanusil’s wife, said in a telephone interview she was glad that her husband would be finally released as his detention had adversely affected her family.
She said she would consult with her husband and his lawyer about taking legal action against the police for the mistake.
Khamploy Namee, 60, said he was relieved he had been acquitted. Khamploy yesterday processed documents to retrieve his bail guarantee. He was the only one among the 21 defendants who was given a bail release this month so he could receive treatment for partial paralysis, a condition he has developed.
About 200 red shirts showed up to give the defendants moral support.