DSI will revisit riot deaths

DSI will revisit riot deaths

The Department of Special Investigation is taking a fresh, in-depth look into the 89 deaths during the 2010 red-shirt riots to better identify crimes committed, weapons used and any masterminds involved.

The DSI wants to find out whether the individual deaths were manslaughter, premeditated murders or physical offences, DSI chief Tarit Pengdith said yesterday.

The victims, both red-shirt demonstrators and soldiers, were killed during the April-May protests and ensuing riots.

The killings took place after soldiers were mobilised to retake streets occupied by members of the pro-Thaksin United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship at Khok Wua and Ratchaprasong intersections.

"We need to conduct a more thorough investigation because besides the deaths, there were more than 2,000 people injured," Mr Tarit said.

The new probe comes after Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung ordered the DSI to reshuffle members of its investigative team after its old members, who were policemen, were transferred elsewhere. Newcomers include police investigators from Udon Thani, Mukdahan, Ratchaburi and Phetchaburi.

The DSI is piecing together evidence to uncover the facts behind the violence, but details about witnesses, the people who ordered the shootings and the weapons used would not be made public, he said.

Earlier, the department had informed the public of its initial conclusion that at least 22 deaths may have been caused by government forces.

The cases were forwarded to city police and prosecutors, and are now being considered by the Criminal Court.

The judge will return the cases to the DSI after considering who was responsible for the deaths, Mr Tarit said.

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