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Dates set for witness testimony in 2010 crackdown case

Aug 21. 2017
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By The Nation

The Supreme Court has set the dates for witness testimony from both the plaintiff and defendant sides in the case concerning the violent crackdown on red-shirt demonstrators in 2010 under orders from the then Abhisit-led government.

Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva and Suthep Thaugsuban have accused the former chief of the Department of Special Investigation (DSI), Tharit Pengdit, and three officers of malfeasance of duty in accusing them in the DSI’s indictment report of murder following their roles in the crackdown. 

Abhisit was prime minister at the time of the incident, while Suthep was a director of the Centre for Resolution of the Emergency Situation.

The two plaintiffs in the case have defended the actions they took at the time, also arguing that the DSI did not in any case have the authority to indict them, as such a step was a matter for the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC). 

They also claimed that what the DSI had reported was a distortion of what had actually taken place.

The lower courts had dropped the charge, but the Supreme Court took up the case, saying that the DSI had realised in the first place that it had no authority to indict Abhisit and Suthep, based on past actions in which it had dealt with the NACC itself. 

These included the agency’s forwarding of the case to the NACC in May, 2010, which suggested that the DSI had realised that it was the NACC’s authority to investigate and indict the two, and not the agency’s, the Supreme Court said.

The court today read the charges before Tharit and the other three defendants, after which the four denied all charges against them.

Tharit’s 13 witnesses are scheduled to give testimony in eight rounds, which are set to take place in March and April next year.

Abhisit’s eight witnesses will be allowed to give testimony in five rounds in March.

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