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Former Thai officials indicted for murder in 2010 protest deaths

Oct. 29, 2013 at 10:10 AM   |   Comments

BANGKOK, Oct. 29 (UPI) -- A former Thai prime minister and his deputy will be indicted for a crackdown on protesters in 2010 that left at least 92 people dead, prosecutors say.

Supporters of the former leaders charged the indictment was an attempt to get them to support a bill that would give blanket amnesty to anyone who committed offenses during the demonstrations, the Bangkok Post reported Tuesday.

The indictment charges former Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and his former deputy, Suthep Thaugsuban, with murder. It alleges the men allowed security officers with the now-defunct Center for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation to use guns and live ammunition to fire on protesters to break up the demonstrations.

Suthep was director of CRES and allegedly acted on orders from Abhisit.

Attorney General Atthapol Yaisawang signed the indictment Friday, saying he was acting on the recommendation of the Department of Special Investigations, which found the men acted illegally in ordering action against the protesters.

Abhisit and Suthep are members of the Democrat party in Parliament and have immunity during its current session.

A spokesman for the attorney general's office said the case would be tried after the session ends.

Abhisit and Suthep said they would fight the charges in court.

A Democrat spokesman charged Abhisit and Suthep had been targeted because they oppose revisions to an amnesty bill. The legislation proposes amnesty only for protesters, withholding it for protest and military leaders, including former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and government officials who ordered the crackdown.

A parliamentary committee voted Oct. 18 to revise the bill.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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