Issara shrugs off arrest warrant

Issara Somchai on Saturday vowed to fight attempted murder charges after the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) ends its rally.

The anti-government protest co-leader said he would not turn himself in to police even though the provincial court in Chachoengsao has issued arrest warrants against him and five security guards at the request of Bang Pakong police.

"Let me finish the rally first and then I will fight the case," the former Democrat Party MP for Ubon Ratchathani said on Saturday.

The six men are accused of abducting Yuem Nillar, a supporter of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship, on Feb 24. Police said Mr Yuem was held for five days and severely beaten before being thrown into the Bang Pakong River.

Mr Yuem claimed he could identify the senior PDRC figure as the mastermind of the case.

The 33-year-old security guard is still recovering from his injuries in Police Hospital in Bangkok. Earlier he was having trouble breathing because his lung was lacerated from the impact of a solid object, doctors said.

Mr Issara denied all the accusations and said the case was politically motivated.

"The arrest warrant is issued without me being informed to defend the charges. I should have been summoned to hear the charges first," he said.

The protest leader challenged investigators to name and thoroughly check the guards accused of being his accomplices in allegedly trying to kill the red-shirt supporter.

The PDRC has insisted that its movement is non-violent but a number of cases of abuses by people acting on its behalf have been documented.

As well, members are not averse to acknowledging occasional assistance from mysterious gunmen responding to threats from pro-government groups in violent clashes.

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