Teens acquitted of CentralWorld arson

The Central Juvenile and Family Court on Thursday acquitted two youths of charges of setting fire to CentralWorld shopping centre in Bangkok on May 19, 2010, ruling there was insufficient evidence against them.

Prosecutors filed a case on Sept 7, 2010, against a 16-year-old boy and a 17-year-old boy, accusing them of setting fire to CentralWorld on May 19 of that year during the military crackdown on red-shirt protesters.

It was alleged their actions lead to the death of Kittipong Somsuk, a civilian who died in the blaze.

Prosecutors also alleged that the pair committed the crime together with two men identified as Saichon Phaebua and Pinij Channarong and others, who were still at large.

The court acquitted the youths, ruling that the prosecution had failed to prove its case.

The 16-year-old boy said he worked as an assistant to a cook at a restaurant in the mall.  After he was arrested, he had lost his job and frequently had to attend court hearings.

The 17-year-old said he also worked at CentralWorld. He said he had dropped out of school and became unemployed after being arrested.

Saichon and Pinij, the pair's co-defendants, were indicted separately by the Criminal Court in an ongoing case.

Related search: CentralWorld, fire, red-shirts, youths acquitted

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