Supreme court confirms death penalty to anti-PDRC shooters

The Supreme Court has sentenced four people accused of shooting grenades into People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) protesters in early 2014 to death, but reduced the penalty to life imprisonment.  

On 22 August 2017, the Supreme Court confirmed the ruling of the lower courts in handing dealth sentence to Chatchawan Prabbamrung, Somsri Marit, Sunthorn Pipuannog, and Tweechai Wichakam, according to the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights.  

The four were convicted of murder, possessions of weapons of war, and carrying illegal weapons in public for using M79 grenade launcher to shoot into the crowd of the anti-election People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) protesters in front of Big C Department Store of Ratchaprasong Intersection in central Bangkok on the evening of 23 February 2014.

The incident resulted in the deaths of an adult and two children, including, 21 injured nine of whom suffered severe injuries.

As the four pleaded guilty, however, the court reduced the sentence to life imprisonment.

The court dismissed the allegation that the four were tortured into confessing, saying that according to Pol Col Akkaradech Pimonsri, the four were not tortured during the interrogation.

The four were arrested between 6-8 July 2014 and detained incommunicado by the military officers for 8-9 days, which exceeded the maximum period of seven days that the martial law imposed during that time allowed.