Bangkok: Thai prosecutors said on Wednesday
they would indict 19 leaders and supporters of the
anti-government "Red Shirt" movement on terrorism charges in
connection with recent political unrest.
They include three key protest leaders -- Red Shirt
chairman Veera Musikapong, opposition lawmaker Jatuporn
Prompan and Kokaew Pikulthong, who stood as an opposition
candidate in a recent Bangkok by-election.
The suspects have already been arrested and charged
and many have been held in detention for almost three months.
"Evidence from investigators shows that there are
sufficient grounds to indict the suspects on terrorism
charges," the Office of Attorney General said in a statement.
The Red Shirts` lawyer, Karom Poltaklang, said he
was confident the suspects would be proven innocent.
Prosecutors have not yet announced whether they
will indict fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra,
who faces an arrest warrant for terrorism but lives in
self-imposed exile overseas.
Two months of protests by the Red Shirts, aimed at
forcing immediate elections, triggered a series of clashes
between demonstrators and troops that left at least 90 people
dead -- mostly civilians -- and nearly 1,900 injured.
Most top Red Shirts surrendered to police after the
army launched a deadly assault on the movement`s fortified
encampment in the heart of Bangkok on May 19.
Some others are in hiding, including Arisman
Pongruangrong, who led the storming of an Asian summit in the
Thai resort of Pattaya in 2009.
After the May crackdown, Reds leaders asked their
thousands of supporters to disperse, but enraged protesters
went on a rampage of arson, setting fire to dozens of
buildings, including a shopping mall and the stock exchange.
Thailand`s Supreme Court today rejected an appeal
by Thaksin and his family against the seizure of USD 1.4
billion of their assets in February for abuse of power.