Ex-Thai PM indicted for murder
Former Thai prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva was indicted for murder yesterday in connection with a deadly military crackdown on mass opposition protests in Bangkok three years ago, prosecutors said.
Some observers doubt British-born Abhisit will go to prison given his links to the Thai elite, and see the case as part of the country’s political brinksmanship.
Abhisit denied the charges and was freed after posting bail of 1.8 million baht ($56,000), his lawyer Bandit Siripan said after the closed-door hearing.
“The pre-trial hearing is expected on March 24 next year,” he said.
Under Abhisit’s government, more than 90 people died and nearly 1,900 were wounded in street clashes in the capital in 2010 between mostly unarmed pro-Thaksin “Red Shirt” demonstrators and security forces firing live rounds.
A small group of Red Shirts shouted “Murderer!” as the Democrat Party leader arrived at court, without speaking to waiting media. There were about 10 Abhisit supporters outside the building, some holding bunches of flowers.
Thailand has seen several bouts of political turmoil since Thaksin was ousted in a military coup in 2006, with rival protests sometimes resulting in bloody unrest.
Prosecutors have accused Abhisit and his former deputy Suthep Thaugsuban of issuing orders that resulted in murder and attempted murder by the security forces.