Thailand appeals court drops treason charges against opposition activists Kiely Lewandowski at 1:03 PM ET
[JURIST] Thailand's Court of Appeal Thursday reduced insurrection charges against nine People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) [advocacy website, in Thai] activists following this week's violent clashes between police and PAD protesters [BBC report]. The court dismissed treason charges against the PAD members as groundless, but maintained the lesser charges of inciting public disturbance and illegal assembly. A spokesman for PAD was quoted in media reports as maintaining that he and his colleagues would now turn themselves into the authorities. BBC News has more; China's Xinhua News Agency has additional coverage.
The protests were triggered by opposition to the new Thai government led by Somchai Wongsawat [official profile], who took over as prime minister earlier this month after the Constitutional Court of Thailand ruled that then-prime minister Samak Sundaravej [BBC profile] had violated the constitution [JURIST report] by accepting payment for his appearance on a television cooking program. Somchai is the brother-in-law of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in military coup in 2006. Critics claim that Somchai is just a proxy for Thaksin, who remains in exile while being tried in absentia for corruption.
Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible, ad-free format.