ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
DSI summoning 17 protest leaders; to freeze bank accounts
The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) on Wednesday said it would issue a summons to 17 protest leaders tomorrow to acknowledge insurrection charges and would also freeze their bank accounts including that of protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban.
The 17 protest leaders are former Democrat MPs -- Sathit Wongnongtoey, Thaworn Senneam, Witthaya Kaewparadai, Jumpol Jullasai, Phuttipong Punnakanta, Issara Somchai, Akanat Promphan, and Natthapon Teepsuwan -- while the rest are Anchalee Paireerak, Nitithorn Lamluea, Uthai Yodmanee, Samdin Lertbutr, Preecha Eiamsuphan, Somkiat Pongpaiboon, Yossak Kosaiyakanond, Supawat Supiyapanich and Somboon Thongburan.
Speaking after the first meeting of the DSI special case investigation team, director general Tarit Pengdit said the agency resolved to summons the 17 protest leaders. They will be asked to acknowledge charges of insurrection and inciting unrest, gathering more than 10 people, using force to harm others, and issuing threats to do harm to others.
If they fail to turn up to acknowledge charges on December 26-27 without proper reasons, the DSI will ask the court to immediately approve an arrest warrant for them, he said.
Mr Suthep, former-deputy-premier-turned-protest leader, was also served an outstanding arrest warrant on insurrection charges in connection with the occupation of several government ministries as part of efforts to topple the government. He was already issued with murder charges for allegedly ordering a deadly crackdown on protesters in 2010, when he was deputy prime minister for the then-ruling Democrat Party administration.
The meeting also resolved to freeze the bank accounts of the 18 protest leaders, including that of Mr Suthep as well as two bank accounts opened to collect donations for anti-government protest and protest-related activities, the DSI chief said.
Mr Tarit also warned financiers and businesses to stop funding the protest, otherwise they will face legal action.
For those whose speech on the protest stage is deemed as inciting unrest, the DSI investigators will consider that on a case-by-case basis and summons will be issued for them to acknowledge the charges later, Mr Tarit said. (MCOT online news)
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