BANGKOK (Bangkok Post) – The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered three United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) movement co-leaders, Jatuporn Prompan, Nattawut Saikuar and Weng Tojirakarn, to pay more than 21 million baht (about $692, 155) in damages plus interest for an arson attack on a building near the Victory Monument in Bangkok during the red-shirt protests in 2010.
Prasong Kangwanwattha, the plaintiff filing for damages, told the court his commercial building suffered damage from the fire, which destroyed the nearby CentreOne department store and a branch of Dok Ya bookstore at the Victory Monument, as red-shirt protesters were being dispersed by security forces on May 19, 2010.
Originally, 10 defendants were named in the suit, including former prime minister and then-Democrat leader Abhisit Vejjajiva; former deputy prime minister Suthep Thaugsuban; former interior minister Chavarat Charnvirakul; Gen Prawit Wongsuwon, who was then defence minister; and Bangkok Union Insurance Plc.
The court, in the first instance, acquitted all defendants. The plaintiff then appealed the ruling, and the Appeal Court ordered the three UDD co-leaders to pay 30.5 million baht (abour $1 million) plus 7.5% interest in damages. They were also ordered to pay 638,710 baht in compensation for losses which the plaintiff suffered after his building was damaged by the fire – a decision which they appealed.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday decided to lower the amount to 21.35 million baht plus 7.5% interest, and ordered the trio to pay 100,000 baht in compensation for the plaintiff’s lost benefits per month until they pay off all court-ordered payments.
Meanwhile, the prosecution on Wednesday indicted two more supporters of the now-defunct People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) on eight charges – including insurrection – for their role in street protests against the Pheu Thai-led government in 2013-14.