Seventy-nine security guards of the now-defunct People’s Alliance for Democracy walk into the courthouse on Wednesday to hear the Supreme Court’s verdict on their 2008 raid on the NBT station. (Photo by Pornprom Satrabhaya)
The Supreme Court on Wednesday sentenced 79 members of the now-defunct People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) to jail for seizing control of the National Broadcasting Services of Thailand (NBT) during protests against the Thaksin Shinawatra-backed government.
The court handed down jail terms of between three and eight months for 84 yellow-shirt security guards, known as the “Srivichai Warriors”, for their raid on the state broadcaster during the early hours of Aug 26, 2008.
Seventy-nine defendants appeared at the court to hear the sentence, while five others were absent and now face arrest warrants.
All at the court were taken to the Bangkok Remand Prison by Corrections Department officials after the case was concluded in the highest court.
They were charged with illegal assembly of more than 10 persons and damaging state property.
Thanate Khamchoo and Methee Uthong received the longest sentences – eight months – while six defendants received only a three-month suspended jail term as they were juveniles at the time the crimes were committed.
All had denied the accusations during the court fight.
They forced their way into the state-owned NBT building on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road during the period of street protests by the PAD to topple the government led by then-prime minister Samak Sundaravej.
Watch: NBT broadcasts live as the PAD ‘Warriors’ storm the station’s studios
Archive video: PAD protesters storm Government House on Aug 26, 2008.
(Video YouTube/AP Archive)