Thai court acquits British man accused in anti-government protests

Written by: Devaki
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London, July 8 (ANI): A Briton, Jeff Savage, involved in violent anti-government protests has been freed by a Thai court after pleading guilty to all charges and will be deported in the next few days.

According to the Daily Express, the court convicted the 48-year-old Savage of violating an emergency decree imposed during the two-month-long protests which is still in effect in Bangkok and 18 other provinces.

Savage broke down and cried after hearing the verdict.

"It's a miracle. I am surprised. There is justice in Thailand. I want justice for all, the dead, Red Shirts and even Yellow Shirts," he said, referring to a rival protest group.

The street clashes between so-called Red Shirt protesters and government forces killed almost 90 people and injured over 1,400 before the demonstrations were suppressed in May 2010.

Savage, a former royal porter from Tonbridge, Kent, was caught on camera the day rioters set fire to one of Bangkok's largest shopping malls saying that he would 'loot' and 'burn (everything) to the ground'. The video was widely circulated on the internet.

He was originally sentenced to three months in prison, but judge Yutthana Sawaisuwanwong acquit him in his final verdict saying that Savage was not a Thai national and had no political stake in the protests. Since he has already served time in jail, the sentence would be halved.

"Savage will be taken to the Immigration Police and detained for at least four working days, the British Embassy will work with the Immigration Police to arrange for his deportation," his lawyer, Prachaya Vijitpokin, said. (ANI)

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