Political activist petitions for 2010 crackdown case to be retried

A political activist has called on the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) to re-investigate those responsible for the bloody military crackdown in 2010.      

On 7 August 2017, Waranchai Chokchana, a former independent candidate for Bangkok governor, submitted a petition to the NACC to appeal its ruling on the military crackdown on anti-establishment red-shirt protesters in 2010.

The petition, submitted in the name of a political group called Democracy Force, calls on the NACC to submit an appeal to the Supreme Court to try the case.

It was submitted a day after the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) submitted a petition to the NACC to appeal the Supreme Court’s ruling to acquit Somchai Wongsawat and three other individuals for their involvement in the 2008 crackdown on yellow-shirt protesters which resulted in two deaths and 471 people injured.

Waranchai reasoned that the law should apply to everyone equally. Therefore, the NACC should consider asking for a judicial review of both cases.

In February 2016, the Appeal Court dismissed murder charges against former Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and former Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban, both from the Democrat Party, who authorised the 2010 crackdown on red-shirt demonstrations that took more than 90 lives and injured over 2,000 people.

The court reasoned that the two authorised the crackdown via the Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation (CRES), an agency formed to handle the 2010 red shirt protesters, while they were still PM and Deputy PM.

As the two held public posts at the time, the Court of Appeal concluded that only the Office of the NACC had the authority to process their cases. The DSI had no authority to investigate.

Earlier in 2015, Sansern Poljieak, Secretary-General of the NACC, announced that the Commission had reached a resolution to withdraw corruption and malfeasance allegations related to the 2010 crackdown against Abhisit, Suthep, former Army Chief Gen Anupong Paochinda and military officers under his command.

Waranchai Chokchana (left) handing the petition to a NACC staff member on 7 August 2017 (Photo from Banrasdr Photo Facebook)