Lawyer stipulates to soldiers' testimony
- Published: 21/03/2013 at 02:45 PM
- Online news:
A lawyer for the relatives of people killed inside Wat Pathumwanaram, in Ratchaprasong, on May 19, 2010 cut short testimony from military witnesses during the inquest hearing on Thursday morning.
Three infantrymen were supposed to testify before the Southern Bangkok Criminal Court - sergeant majors Samai Rakchat, Rakchat Jantaket, and Yongyos Phayakkreng. All are from the 31st Infantry, 2nd Regiment of the King's Guard.
Military sources said the relatives' lawyer accepted the witnesses' written testimony, saying they did not have to appear for oral cross-examination.
Lawyer Chokchai Angkaew said previous military witnesses had adequately provided similar accounts of the situation on that day, so he did not want to waste the court's time.
Ballistic and forensic experts had yet to testify to the court, Mr Chokchai said.
French journalist Olivier Rotrou also appeared at the court this morning, but was told he could not testify at this time.
The prosecutor said Mr Rotrou is required to give his account of what happened to the police first.
According to the Criminal Procedure Code Section 173/1, Mr Rotrou was not enlisted as witness from the very beginning, so must first provide his information to the police or the prosecutor, who would later file for approval to the court to add his name as an additional witness.
The military sources said this afternoon's expected witness, Abhisit Saengkaew, would give key testimony that would help clear the military of accusations that soldiers killed the six unarmed civilians in the grounds of Wat Pathumwanaram, which adjoins the main red-shirt protest site, on May 19, 2010.
Mr Abhisit was on the witness list, but was somehow difficult to locate and bring to the court as he is now imprisoned in Chiang Mai province.
The inquest into the Wat Pathumwanaram deaths began on Dec 13, 2012. There have been hearings every week, but it was likely to adjourn for nearly a month once the Thursday afternoon session finished because of a change on the judge's bench and to the prosecution team.
French journalist Olivier Rotrou (with green scarf) talks to prosecutors. Photo by Achara Ashayagachat
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- Writer: Achara Ashayagachat