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Abhisit, Suthep face murder charges

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Public prosecutors will indict former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and his former deputy Suthep Thaugsuban for murder.

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As members of parliament, former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva (right) and his former deputy Suthep Thaugsuban (left) have immunity, but prosecutors say they will formally charge them with murder after the parliamentary session closes. THITI WANNAMONTHA

Democrat duo hit with murder rap

Defiant Abhisit, Suthep say they will fight case


Public prosecutors will indict former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and his former deputy Suthep Thaugsuban for murder.

Attorney-General Atthapol Yaisawang signed the indictment order against the pair on Friday on charges in connection with the Democrat government's crackdowns on red-shirt protesters in April-May 2010 that left at least 92 people dead.

The Democrats argue the move is an attempt to pressure the pair to accept the blanket amnesty proposal by the ruling Pheu Thai Party.

The decision to prosecute Mr Abhisit, the Democrat Party leader, and Mr Suthep, a Democrat MP for Surat Thani, is based on the recommendation of the Department of Special Investigation (DSI). The Office of the Attorney-General (OAG) says the move is also in line with several Criminal Court rulings which found some protesters were shot dead by soldiers acting on the orders of the now-defunct Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation (CRES).

Mr Suthep was deputy prime minister and the director of CRES during the protest crackdown, acting on behalf of Mr Abhisit who was prime minister at the time.

OAG spokesman Nanthasak Poonsuk said the pair will be indicted for issuing orders to CRES security authorities to reclaim the areas occupied by the red-shirt protesters in 2010 and allowing CRES security officers to use guns and live ammunition to retake the protest areas.

The use of the weapons was heavy-handed, which caused deaths and injuries, Mr Nanthasak said.

Deputy OAG spokesman Watcharin Panurat said the case, which involves deaths as a result of operations by state officials, comes under the jurisdiction of the OAG.

Mr Watcharin said the OAG's indictment decision is based on two factors.

First, the case involves extrajudicial killing offences, not an offence regarding the abuse of positions of state authority which would have been investigated by the National Anti-Corruption Commission. This gave the DSI the authority to investigate the case.

Secondly, evidence has emerged the pair ordered the crackdowns on the protesters and allowed security officers to use weapons, he said.

Many died and were wounded due to the use of weapons by security officers who acted on the orders, he added.

Since both men are MPs, they have immunity during the parliamentary session. The OAG will forward the case to the court after the parliamentary session closes, Mr Watcharin said.

He added that even if all the CRES orders were issued by Mr Suthep and not Mr Abhisit, Mr Abhisit has to be indicted as well because he ordered the setting-up of the CRES.

There were also witnesses who said Mr Abhisit gave instructions at several CRES meetings, Mr Watcharin said.

Mr Abhisit said yesterday he was confident of his innocence and was ready to fight the case. He insisted the DSI's investigation was flawed.

"My case is trivial when compared to what is going to happen as a result of the amnesty bill," he said.

Mr Suthep said yesterday he was not worried about the indictment and was ready to prove himself through the judicial process.

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abuse : the use of something in a bad, dishonest, or harmful way - การใช้ในทางที่ผิด

amnesty (noun): a situation in which a government agrees not to punish, or to no longer punish, people who have committed a particular crime - การนิรโทษกรรม

argue : to give reasons why you think that something is right/wrong, true/not true, etc, especially to persuade people that you are right - ห้เหตุผล, อ้างเหตุผล

Attorney-General : the top legal officer in some countries, who advises the leader of the government - อัยการสูงสุด

authority (noun): a person or government agency who has the power to make decisions or enforce the law - เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ

bill : a written document containing a proposal for a new law - ญัตติ

blanket : affecting or aimed at everyone or everything equally, even when this is not sensible or fair - ครอบคลุม, กว้าง

Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation (CRES) (noun): a group of top government officials set up in 2010 to deal with mass protests in Bangkok - ศูนย์อำนวยการแก้ไขสถานการณ์ฉุกเฉิน

charge : to accuse someone officially of committing a crime - ตั้งข้อกล่าวหา

confident : certain; having trust in people, plans, or the future - มั่นใจ

crackdown : strong action that someone in authority takes to stop a particular activity - การใช้กำลังเข้าปราบปรามของเจ้าหน้าที่

Criminal Court : a court which hears criminal cases, i.e., cases where people are accused of breaking a law and where punishment involves going to jail. - ศาลอาญา

defiant : refusing to obey a person or rule; refusing to accept that something is true - แสดงการท้าทาย, ไม่ยอมทำตาม, ไม่เชื่อฟัง

defunct : no longer existing, operating or being used - ถูกยุบ, หยุดทำงาน

Department of Special Investigation : DSI; a police department investigating serious crimes involving influential people, organised crime, or crimes using highly sophisticated technology - กรมสอบสวนคดีพิเศษ

deputy : a person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation - รอง

duo : two people who work together or do something together - สองคน, คู่

emerge : to become known - เป็นที่ประจักษ์ต่อ

evidence : facts statements or objects that help to prove whether or not someone has committed a crime - หลักฐาน

extrajudicial killing : a killing (normally carried out by police and often in self defence) that has not been officially approved by a court - วิสามัญฆาตกรรม

factor : a fact or situation which influences the result of something - ปัจจัย

flawed : spoiled by something - มีข้อบกพร่อง

formally : officially; following an agreed or official way of doing things - อย่างเป็นทางการ

forward : to send onwards - ส่งต่อ

heavy-handed (adj.): using unnecessary force; using too much of something in a way that can cause damage - ซึ่งเข้มงวด, ซึ่งกดขี่, ซึ่งงุ่มง่าม

immunity : a situation where someone cannot be taken to court and punished for breaking the law - ได้รับความคุ้มครอง

in line with : following a rule or system; also in accordance with and consistent with - สอดคล้องกับ

indict (verb): to officially accuse someone of a serious crime - ฟ้องร้อง

innocence : the condition of not having done anything wrong or illegal - ความบริสุทธิ์

insist : to keep saying very firmly that something is true - ยืนกราน ยืนยัน

instructions : something that somebody tells you to do - คำสั่ง

issue : to officially give out - ออก

judicial process : the actions taken, usually in court, to settle a legal matter - การดำเนินการคดี

jurisdiction : the authority that an official organisation has to make legal decisions about somebody/something - เขตอำนาจตามกฎหมาย

live ammunition : real bullets or explosives, not blanks or rubber bullets -

murder (noun): the crime of intentionally killing a person - ฆาตกรรม

National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) : An independent government organisation to investigate corruption carried out by government officials - ปปช. (สำนักคณะกรรมการป้องกันและปราบปรามการทุจริตแห่งชาติ)

occupied : controlled by someone who entered it by force or as a group - ถูกยึดครอง

offence : a crime or illegal activity for which there is a punishment - การกระทำผิดกฎหมาย

on behalf of : as a representative of - ในนามของ ในฐานะของ

operation : a planned activity involving a lot of people, especially soldiers or police officers - การปฏิบัติการ

pair : two people who are doing something together - คู่

pressure : to try to make someone do something by forcing, threatening, or persuading them in a determined way - กดดัน

proposal : a plan or suggestion for a group to consider - ข้อเสนอ

prosecutor : a lawyer whose job is to prove in court that someone accused of a crime is guilty - อัยการ

protester : someone who shows that they disagree with something by standing somewhere, shouting, carrying signs, etc - ผู้ต่อต้าน, ผู้ประท้วง

rap (noun): (informal) a criminal charge - ข้อกล่าวหา

reclaim : to take back something that was yours - เรียกกลับคืน, เอากลับ

recommendation : a suggestion for how to solve a problem, deal with a situation - ข้อเสนอแนะ

ruling : having control over a particular group, country, etc - ซึ่งมีอำนาจ, ซึ่งปกครอง

security : protection; systems providing for safety from attack, harm, or damage - ระบบรักษาความปลอดภัย

session : a formal meeting, or a series of meetings, of an institution such as a parliament or a court - การประชุม, สมัยการประชุม

state : government - รัฐบาล

trivial : having little value or importance; of a problem that is easy to solve - ไม่สำคัญ, เล็กๆ น้อยๆ

weapon : an object such as a knife, gun, bomb, etc. that is used for fighting or attacking somebody - อาวุธ

witness : a person who sees something happen or knows about something - ผู้ที่เห็นเหตุการณ์, พยาน

wounded : injured, especially where your skin or flesh is damaged, usually seriously - บาดเจ็บ


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