Abhisit to be indicted for killings in 2010 crackdown

Abhisit to be indicted for killings in 2010 crackdown
Opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva

PUBLIC PROSECUTORS decided to indict and try two top Democrats for instigating others to kill, or to attempt a killing, in connection with the 2010 political mayhem.

THAILAND - Opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva and MP Suthep Thaugsuban are to stand trial over their respective capacities at the time as prime minister and deputy prime minister in charge of quelling red-shirt protests.

"Former PM Abhisit and former deputy PM Suthep will be tried as political overseers of the Centre for Resolution of the Emergency Situation," prosecution spokesman Nantasak Poonsuk said.

The prosecution review against Abhisit and Suthep was based on a report compiled by the Department of Special Investigation.

Nantasak said the DSI report covered the period from April 7 to May 19, 2010.

Incidents that led to the indictment included those revealed by judicial inquests that attributed the deaths to gunshots fired from the side of the security forces, he said.

The inquests covered the cases of Phan Kamkong; boy Kunakorn Srisuwan; and driver Samorn Maithong. Attorney-general Athapol Yaisawang cited three reasons for the indictment:

First, the charges were about the instigation to cause death, hence the prosecutors have purview of the case above that of the National Anti-Corruption Commission.

Second, the prosecution has evidence to link the two accused to blockading of rally sites as well as ordering the use of arms.

Third, the pending trial will combine all casualties into one count of wrongdoing, since separate crowd-control operations were designed to achieve one single objective - to disperse the rallies.

The prosecution order sets Thursday as the deadline for Abhisit and Suthep to acknowledge their indictments.

DSI chief Tarit Pengdith said his investigators would study whether the prosecution review could be a precedent.

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