Buddha Issara arrest warrant upheld

The Appeals Court on Tuesday rejected a petition filed by Luang Pu Buddha Issara, the abbot of Wat Ornoy in Nakhon Pathom province, asking that it revoke a warrant for his arrest issued by the Criminal Courtfor leading protesters to lay siege to the Laksi district office and obstructing advance voting on Jan 26.

The Criminal Court approved the warrant for Luang Pu's arrest at the request of Thung Song Hong police for allegedly violating the Election Act of 2007.

The senior monk, who led the rally by anti-government protesters in support of the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) at the government offices complex on Chaeng Wattana road, petitioned the Appeals Court to revoke the arrest warrant.

The Appeals Court rejected his petition on the grounds the Criminal Court is empowered to approve the warrant.

Luang Pu Buddha Issara did not turn up to hear the decision, but was represented by a lawyer.

The lawyer said the monk is still wanted on two warrants - one alleging rebellion and the obstructing the election. It would be his own decidion whether to surrender to hear the charges, the lawyer added.

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