October 10, 2008

PAD Leaders Surrender to Thailand Police

Seven leaders of a group that has led months of anti-government protests in Thailand were released on bail Friday after surrendering to police.

The seven belonging to the People's Alliance for Democracy gave themselves up after an appeals court revoked three more serious charges, including treason, against the group's core leaders the previous day, the Thai News Agency reported. The court had ordered the release of two other leaders on bail.

Their surrender came after the court let stand two less serious charges of illegal assembly and inciting unrest.

The issue relates to PAD protesters breaking into the state-owned NBT television station and seizing the Government House in August, the report said.

Thailand has been in the grip of political protests for months since the current coalition came to power.

Two people died and more than 350 were injured Tuesday when protesters clashed with police in Bangkok. The protesters were demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat, whom they allege has close ties to former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, ousted in a military coup two years ago.

PAD protesters have said they will not leave the Government House until the People Power Party, which leads the ruling coalition, is removed. The PPP is seen as a proxy government for Thaksin, who lives in England but faces corruption charges at home.