Prayut acquitted of declaring 2020 emergency decree


(FILES) In this file photo taken on August 17, 2022, Thailand's Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha addresses an award function in Bangkok. - Thailand's Constitutional Court said it will rule on September 30, 2022 whether suspended prime minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha should be thrown out of office permanently, AFP reports on September 14. (Photo by Manan VATSYAYANA / AFP)

The Civil Court acquitted suspended PM Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha and five other defendants of unlawfully issuing the Covid-related emergency decree in 2020.

The lawsuit was filed by seven political activists who demanded compensation after being detained under the decree two years ago.

The five other defendants were acting PM Gen Prawit Wongsuwan, police chief Suwat Jangyodsuk, the PM’s Office, the Royal Thai Police and the Finance Ministry.

The court ruled that the government and Prayut, as prime minister, had the legal authority to declare an emergency to control Covid-19.

Sukreeya Wannayuwat, plaintiff No 1, who is now a fourth-year student in Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Education, came to the court to hear the verdict. She and six students from Chulalongkorn and Thammasat University filed the lawsuit on Oct 21, 2020.

The lawsuit had sought an injunction to cancel the state of emergency immediately, but this was rejected by the court.

The government instead extended the emergency decree for the next two years before announcing last week that it would be lifted on Oct 1. — The Nation/ANN

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