OAG to decide on terrorism case
- Published: 3/05/2013 at 04:59 PM
- Online news:
A call for dismissal of terrorism charges against red-shirt members will be forwartded to state prosecutors, the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) said on Friday.
A DSI panel set up to study the dismissal request by the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) "unanimously agreed" to forward it to the Office of the Attorney-General (OAG), said deputy DSI chief Yanapol Yangyuen, the panel chairman.
The case will be sent to the OAG by Justice Minister Pracha Promnok.
The minister made the request for the UDD led by Weng Tojirakarn, one of the members facing terrorism charges in connection with the street protests against the government then led by the Democrat Party in 2010.
Dr Weng had petitioned the DSI to withdraw the charges, citing a recent ruling by the Civil Court that the arson attacks at CentralWorld and Zen Department Store during the rallies were not acts of terrorism.
An insurance company at first refused to pay compensation to the department stores, claiming the arson attacks were caused by terrorism, which was not covered by the insurance policy the department stores had with it.
The DSI considered three options - referring the case to the OAG, submitting an opinion to the OAG, or issuing observations about the Civil Court's rulings in the cases involving the 2010 political protests without stating an opinion on the matter.
Pol Col Yanapol said the agency decided on the first option, adding that the OAG alone could not decide on the case as the terrorism cases were already before the court.
He said his panel had thoroughly studied Dr Weng's request and concluded that the arson case and the terrorism cases were totally different and were not connected with one another.
Therefore, the arson case could never be used to compare with the terrorism ones, he said.
Still, a Civil Court ruling could never be compared with a criminal case, he said, adding that the DSI investigators probing the terrorism cases no longer had the authority to act on them since their investigations had finished.
If the UDD was determined to have the terrorism cases dropped, a formal request for a new hearing would have to be submitted to the court, Pol Col Yanapol said.
DSI chief Tarit Pengdith said the terrorism cases were before the court and the DSI had no authority to ask that the charges be withdrawn. Only the OAG had the authority to do so, he said.
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- Writer: King-oua Laohong