The Yellow Shirts massed in 2008, closing Bangkok's airports, crippling the economy, stranding thousands of tourists and ending the Somchai Wongsawat government.
Thailand's Civil Court ordered 13 leaders of the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD), known as the 'Yellow Shirts,' to pay 522 million baht (US$17.4 million) in damages to the Airports of Thailand (AoT) to compensate the agency for their seizure of Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports in 2008.
The AOT filed a lawsuit against the key PAD leaders on Nov 24, 2009.
The court ruled that the Yellow Shirt demonstration was not carried out peacefully, breached the Constitution and violated moral standards with the intention to force suspension of air services at the two international airports.
The seizure also caused unrest in the country and tarnished the country's image, resulting in both physical and commercial damage to the AoT.
The PAD action also violated rights of other people, the court said, ordering the 13 defendants to pay 522 million baht in compensation to AoT, plus 7.5 per cent annual interest.
The court also ordered them to pay 80,000 baht in legal fees for the AoT.
Only the lawyers of both sides represented at the court were present to hear the ruling which could be appealed.
The Yellow Shirt protesters staged marathon mass protests in 2008 that led to the blockade of Bangkok's two main airports--Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang--in an attempt to topple the Somchai Wongsawat government which they accused of being a proxy of ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra.
The week-long PAD airport seizure, from Nov 24 to Dec 3, 2008, left more than 300,000 passengers stranded. The blockade was lifted after the Constitution Court disbanded three parties, including the ruling People Power Party, and disqualified the party head and its executives, automatically removing Mr Somchai from his post as prime minister.
The movement's key leaders including Sondhi Limthongkul, retired Maj-Gen Chamlong Srimuang, Phiphob Thongchai, Somsak Kosaisuuk, Somkiat Pongpaibul, Chaiwat Sinsuwong and Suriyasai Katasila. They have been facing charges of terrorism as they spearheaded the Yellow Shirt protesters seizure of the airports.
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