Thai `Red Shirt` leader gets second bail in days

Arisman Pongruangrong surrendered to authorities in early December after nearly 20 months on the run.

Updated: Dec 29, 2011, 23:38 PM IST

Bangkok: A top "Red Shirt leader" in
Thailand accused of terrorism over his role in last year`s
opposition rallies was freed on bail on Thursday for the second day
in a row, his lawyer said.

Arisman Pongruangrong, who narrowly avoided capture by
police commandos in April 2010 by climbing out of the
third-floor window of a Bangkok hotel, surrendered to
authorities in early December after nearly 20 months on the
run.

He was freed on bail in the Thai capital yesterday
evening, only to be immediately re-arrested on charges of
defaming a member of the opposition Democrat Party in a
separate case.

He was released again today after appearing in a court in
the southern province of Songkhla and posting bail of 200,000
baht (USD 6,300), his lawyer Suchaiwut Chaosuanklauy said.

The sum was significantly less than the six million baht
(USD 190,000) bail Arisman had to pay in the terrorism case a
day earlier.

Arisman is believed to have hidden in Cambodia after
fleeing the Thai capital after the bungled attempt to arrest
him in connection with mass anti-government protests that
turned deadly in 2010.

More than 90 people, mostly civilians, were killed and
nearly 1,900 were wounded during the two months of rallies,
which drew about 100,000 Red Shirts, many of whom support
fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra.

The controversial ex-leader`s sister Yingluck Shinawatra
is now prime minister after a resounding election victory by
his party earlier this year.

Arisman also faces separate charges related to the Red
Shirts` storming of an Asian summit in the Thai resort city of
Pattaya in 2009, forcing its cancellation as leaders were
evacuated.

PTI