Prayuth: Fabio case 'long way to go'

Army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha on Wednesday said the death of Italian photojournalist Fabio Polenghi still faces a lengthy court case before it reaches closure, and called a ruling by the Criminal Court as only the inquest stage.

Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha (Photo by Pattanapong Hirunard)

Gen Prayuth said the case had not even entered an official judicial process yet. 

The Bangkok South Criminal Court on Wednesday ruled that Polenghi was killed by a bullet fired by security forces during the May 19, 2010, dispersal of red-shirt protesters.

The inquest stage now will be followed by criminal indictment, in a case that almost certainly will proceed through all three court stages - criminal, appeals and Supreme Court, he said.  

“Soldiers have evidence as well, and the battle should be in court, don’t talk about it outside the court. We must respect the court and the judicial process,” Gen Prayuth said. 

Elisabetta Polenghi, the sister of Polenghi, told a press conference after the inquest on Wednesday that she would not stop the search for those responsible for his death and will consult lawyers on what legal steps are open to the family.

Elisabetta Polenghi also regretted that former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva did not take part in the press conference. "He has asked for a private meeting but I think (the death of) Fabio is a public affair. If Abhisit would say anything, everyone has the right to listen to his speech and what in his mind," Ms Polenghi said.

Mr Abhisit was prime minister at the time of the 2010 violence. He has already been charged with murder in connection with the deaths of other civilians.

Elisabetta Polenghieceived a cheque for 7.75 million baht during a ceremony held in Bangkok last year, as compensation for the loss of her older brother. (File photo by Chanat Katanyu)

Related search: army chief, Italian journalist, court, red shirt, inquest, May 19, security forces, 2010

About the author

Writer: Achara Ashayagachat
Position: Senior Reporter