Kent

Kent man facing trial over unrest in Thailand

Jeff Savage walks to the court room at Pathumwan Municipal court in Bangkok
Image caption Jeff Savage was remanded in custody until his trial at the end of July

A Kent man is to go on trial in Thailand over his alleged involvement in anti-government protests.

Jeff Savage, of Tonbridge, has lived in Thailand for nine years, and urged the court in Bangkok to deport him rather than continue with the prosecution.

He is charged with breaking the emergency decree and meeting in a gathering of more than five people.

The Foreign Office said Mr Savage, 48, had been remanded in custody until his trial beginning on 28 July.

It said it was continuing to provide consular assistance.

Centre destroyed

Mr Savage was arrested last month over allegations of inciting protesters to set fire to the Central World shopping centre in central Bangkok during major civil unrest. He has denied any involvement.

The shopping centre was destroyed in the violence which has gripped the country since Thaksin Shinawatra was ousted as prime minister in 2006.

Dozens of people were killed during the red-shirts protests in the capital.

The offence of violating the state of emergency decree carries a two-year prison sentence.

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