Red shirts to revive murder charges against Abhisit and Suthep

A key leader of the anti-establishment red shirts has vowed to bring justice to the victims of the 2010 crackdown after the country’s top court dismissed murder charges against former Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and Suthep Thaugsuban, his former deputy.

On 5 September, Nattawut Saikua, Secretary-General of the United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), the main red-shirt faction, told the media that the UDD will take legal steps to revive the lawsuit against those responsible for the violent military crackdown in 2010, according to Voice TV.  

He said the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) filed the case with the prosecutor and the prosecutor took it to court, but the courts ruled that only the Office of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has the authority to process the case.

Ironically, the NACC concluded that it was the DSI who has the authority over the case as it involves murder, added Nuttawut.

He further stated that he accepted the court’s ruling, but said if justice is delivered late, it is also injustice.

According to Khaosod English, family members of those who were killed during the 2010 crackdown will seek new lawyers to revive the murder charges against the former prime minister and his deputy.

In seven years since the crackdown on the red-shirt demonstrators in central Bangkok which took almost 100 lives and injured about 2,000 people, not a single public official has been prosecuted.

Last week, family members of the victims led by Payao Akhad, mother of Kamolkate Akhad, a medic who was killed during the crackdown, gathered at Ratchaprasong intersection to denounce the Supreme Court’s ruling.

At the event, Payao lit incense sticks for the victims of the crackdown before saying “Today, the struggle is not over yet. This mother will struggle until the end. … I believe that the perpetrators will not get away.”  

Nuttawut Saikua (file photo)