Probe panel blames Red Shirts, govt for 2010 violence

A commission probing political violence that engulfed Thailand in 2010 blamed the then Government and the Red Shirts who were protesting against it.

Bangkok: An independent commission probing the political violence that engulfed Thailand in 2010 Monday blamed both the then Government and the Red Shirts who were protesting against it.

The Truth for Reconciliation Commission of Thailand presented its report today on the violence that claimed 91 lives while at least and 2,000 were injured .

Most of the protesters were Red Shirt supporters of former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted as prime minister by a military coup in 2006. The protesters were demanding early elections.

Thaksin is the brother of current premier Yingluck Shinawatra and the commission was appointed by then-Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.

Meanwhile, Bangkok Post online reports quoting the Criminal Court, Department of Special Investigation (DSI) chief Tarit Pengit said that it was possible that former Prime Minister Vejjajiva and his former deputy Suthep Thaugsuban could be charged with murder in connection with the crackdown on red-shirt protesters in April-and May 2010.

The Criminal Court ruled today that Phan Khamkong, a taxi driver was shot and killed in May 2010 by troops acting on orders issued by the Centre for the Resolution of Emergency Situations (CRES). Suthep was CRES director at the time.

The DSI chief said today`s ruling would be a precedent for the courts to proceed with the 35 other cases of death arising from the 2010 riots.

He said it was possible for Abhisit and Suthep to be charged with premeditated murder under the Criminal Code because they were ultimately responsible for ordering the military to quell the riots.

The soldiers who honestly performed their duty were entitled to protection by Article 70 of the Criminal Code.

There were two possible options, he said.

"One, they could be charged, but not prosecuted. Two, they could be prosecuted, but excluded as witnesses

"However, whether legal action would be taken against anyone and on what charges was still to be decided by the committee investigating the deaths of 91 people during the violence, Tarit said.


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