Former Future Forward Party leader and its members facing legal charges over flash protest in Bangkok last year

PHOTO: Thairath

Bangkok –

Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit and four members from his Progressive Movement Group and the Move Forward Party are facing charges relating to a flash protest in the Pathumwan district in December last year, the Pathumwan Municipal Court announced today, October 29.

Those named for the court trial are Thanathorn, head of the Progressive Movement Group; Piyabutr Saengkanokkul, secretary-general of the group; Pannika Wanich, the group’s spokeswoman; Move Forward Party leader Pita Limjaroenrat; and Pairattachote Chantarakajon, a former election candidate of Thanathorn’s dissolved Future Forward party.

The group presented themselves at the Pathumwan Court this morning and has acknowledged their indictment against the Public Assembly Act B.E.2558 regarding their flash mob on the BTS skywalk at Pathumwan intersection on December 14, 2019.

PHOTO: Naewna

They were charged over organizing the rally without giving prior notice, organizing a rally that affected train services, organizing a rally that blocked people from using a public place, using loudspeakers without permission, rallying within 150-meter radius of a palace, and resisting officials’ orders to stop the rally.

Thanathorn and his fellows have initially denied all charges and were temporarily released. Meanwhile, the court has rescheduled the examination of relevant evidence and witness for the case again on December 22 at 10:00 AM.

According to their lawyer, five of them could face the maximum punishment of 6 months imprisonment and a hefty fine for violating the Assembly Act if the verdict is found guilty.

PHOTO: Thairath

The spontaneous demonstration on December 14 was conducted after the Election Commission sought a court order to disband the Future Forward party for allegedly accepting cash or donations from an illegitimate source and an alleged 191-million-baht loan from its leader.

The Party was dissolved in January this year following the Constitutional Court’s decision which angered thousands of the party supporters, claiming that the decision was unjustified. They started to hold many major rallies against the military-based government and increased political uprising and leading to several pro-democracy protests as of today.

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