PDRC sues Tarit for abuse of power

The People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) on Thursday filed a Criminal Court lawsuit against Department of Special Investigation (DSI) chief Tarit Pengdith, accusing him of abuse of power in connection with his order to freeze the bank accounts of protest leaders including Suthep Thaugsuban.

The lawsuit was filed by lawyer Suwat Apaipak on behalf of Pibhop Dhongchai, a PDRC adviser.

According to the lawsuit, Mr Tarit had issued orders for 28 banks to freeze the accounts of Mr Suthep and other PDRC members on two occasions, causing the protest leaders financial difficulties.

Mr Tarit issued the orders following a decision by the special cases committee to launch DSI action against Mr Suthep and other PDRC leaders for holding political rallies in Bangkok and other provinces in alleged violation of the Criminal Code.

The special cases committee is chaired by caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Pracha Promnok. Mr Tarit and caretaker Justice Minister Chaikasem Nitisiri are also members of the committee.

The lawsuit argues that Mr Tarit's orders were an abuse of power in violation of Section 157 of the Criminal Code. 

Mr Suwat said the court accepted the case for further proceedings and set April 21 for examination of prima facie evidence.

Lawsuits would also be filed against other members of the special cases committee, he said.

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