Ex-PDRC member avoids jail

Ex-PDRC member avoids jail

Ex-PDRC member avoids jail
Sonthiyan Chuenruethainaitham, centre, a former core member of the now- defunct People’s Democratic Reform Committee ( PDRC ), arrives at the Criminal Court on July 25, 2019. ( File photo )

The Supreme Court handed an eight- month jail term to Sonthiyan Chuenruethainaitham, a former core member of the now- defunct People’s Democratic Reform Committee ( PDRC ), for obstructing a general election in 2014.

His two-year prison sentence was imposed.

The Supreme Court’s decision in a case brought by the Office of the Attorney General’s Department of Special Litigation ( DoSL ) against Mr. Sonthiyan, 62, and three other PDRC members was read by the Criminal Court on Tuesday.

They were Sakoltee Phattiyakul, 47, former Democrat Party Bangkok MP, Sombat Thamrongthanyawong, 73, a former rector of the National Institute of Development Administration ( Nida ), and Seri Wongmontha, 75, a well- known mass media and marketing expert.

The lower jury acquitted the four defendants. However, the Appeal Court upheld the decision in 2021, except for Sonthiyan, who was found guilty of conspiring with others to obstruct a standard vote in the Dusit region in early 2014 by conspiring to stifle voter access.

The Appeal Court sentenced him to a one-year prison name. But, that was reduced to eight weeks on account of his important evidence. Additionally, the jury mandated that he receive a five-year suspension of his voting rights.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court ruled that Sonthiyan’s eight- quarter prison term was correct. The court suspended his word for two decades and fined him 20,000 baht because it disagreed with the Appeal Court’s recommendation that he be sentenced to a jail term.

The four accused were charged with insurrection, legal organization, unlawful assembly, incitement of hits, and obstructing an vote.

The charges against them were brought in 2014 in connection with the PDRC’s demonstrations against former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra between November 23, 2013 and May 1, 2014.