Abhisit opts to stand trial in court

Democrat Party leader and former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said on Friday that he will report to the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) to acknowledge the charges on Dec 13 and was ready to prove his innocence in court.

Suthep Thaugsuban, left, and Abhisit Vejjajiva (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)

He said this after accepting the department’s letter calling him to acknowledge the charges of authorising the killing of anti-government protesters by soldiers during the April-May 2010 violence in Bangkok.

DSI chief Tarit Pengdith announced the joint decision of a tripartite team of investigators from the DSI, police and prosecutors at a meeting Thursday to lay bring the charges against Mr Abhisit and Democrat MP Suthep Thaugsuban, who was then deputy premier in charge of security affairs.

Mr Tarit said the meeting decided to lay charges against Mr Abhisit and Mr Suthep under Sections 59, 83, 84 and 288 of the Criminal Code, based on a Criminal Court ruling on the death of a taxi driver during the 2010 political unrest.

The court ruled on Sept 17 that the taxi driver, 44-year-old Phan Khamkong from Yasothon province, was shot dead by security forces near the Ratchaprarop Airport Link station on the night of May 14, 2010.

Mr Abhisit insisted that he was performing his duty as prime minister in maintaining peace and order during the anti-government protests in 2010 and had acted in line with the law.

Moreover, the court had ruled that the anti-government rallies by the red-shirts were in violation of the constitution, he added.

After the operations to get back occupied areas from protesters, his government had opened itself to all forms of monitoring, an independent inquiry was set up to find out the facts, Mr Abhisit said. He was ready to enter the justice system to prove his innocence, he said.

The opposition leader in the House said the pressing of charges against him and Mr Suthep was a political action intended to force him and his party to support the government's proposed reconciliation law to whitewash a corrupt person.

He insisted that there would be no negotiations for his own benefit, even though under the charges he could be sentenced to death. He had confidence in the country’s justice system, adding that no one is above the law.

Mr Suthep, former deputy prime minister for security affairs, said he would also go to meet DSI investigators to acknowledge the charges, as requested.

Korn Chatikavanij (Photo by Thiti Wannamontha)

Democrat list MP and former finance minister Korn Chatikavanij said on his Facebook page that the charges being pressed against Mr Abhisit and Mr Suthep had a hidden political agenda, aiming to force the Democrats to support a plan to issue an amnesty law.

Mr Korn said the order issued by Mr Abhisit, then prime minister, and Mr Suthep in his capacity as director of the Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation (CRES) was constitutional, aimed at bringing peace and order to the country.

He accused fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra of trying to use state power to pressure Mr Abhisit, Mr Suthep and the Democrat Party to back a plan to issue an amnesty law for himself and his political alliances.

Thaksin had previously tried to negotiate with both Mr Abhisit and Mr Suthep on the issue, but failed, Mr Korn added.

Related search: Abhisit, vejjajiva, suthep, thaugsuban, murder, 2010, violence

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