On 15 Nov, Col Sansern Kaewkamnerd, former spokesperson for the Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation, testified to police investigators on the deaths of 16 people allegedly killed by military troops during the crackdown on red-shirt protesters in April and May last year.
According to Khaosod, Col Sansern provided the police with details of the command structure dealing with the situation. He said that the tasks of the military concerned national security and the protection of the country along the borders.
Normally, soldiers have no duty at all involving incidents which occur in urban areas or in Bangkok. However, in the situation last year, the military was not acting in accordance with its military duty, but following orders from the CRES, which was set up by order of then Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and chaired by then Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban, Col Sansern said.
The military’s involvement in the situation was not something that generally happened, but was specific to the circumstances, because the military is not authorized to move troops and weapons to operate in urban areas. This was able to happen because of the CRES orders which involved the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister at that time, otherwise the military would not be able carry out the operations as it has no power to give orders for operations in urban areas, he said.
According to Col Sansern, he gave testimony as a witness to about 30 police investigators from 6 precincts at the Border Patrol Police Headquarters. The information he provided to the investigators about the military operations was what he had already explained to the public, he said.
More time sought for probe