Thai police arrest senior protest leader for insurrection, court turns him loose on bail

Thai police have arrested a key anti-government protest leader but a court allowed him to go free on bail hours later.

Department of Special Investigation Director-General Tharit Pengdit said Saturday that immigration police detained Sakhontee Phattiyagul at Bangkok's international airport upon his arrival from a trip to the U.S. He says that Sakhontee was arrested Friday night on multiple charges, including insurrection.

Sakhontee is a leader of the People's Democratic Reform Committee, which has been staging militant anti-government demonstrations in Thailand's capital since November. The group wants Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to step down and disrupted a general election held in February.

Thai media reported that a court on Saturday allowed Sakhontee's release on 600,000 baht ($18,600) bail.