Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Charge threat over acquittals

Aug 30. 2017
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THE PEOPLE’S Alliance for Democracy (PAD) yesterday resolved to file a charge against the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) after it decided to only appeal one of the four acquittals in the case involving the violent crackdown on yellow shirts in 2008.

The Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Political Office Holders earlier this month acquitted former Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat, his deputy Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, then-police chief Pol General Patcharawat Wongsuwan, and then-Metropolitan police chief Pol Lt-General Suchart Muenkaew. 

They had been found not guilty in relation to the police crackdown in October 2008 that left two people dead and more than 400 injured.

The NACC, as the plaintiff in the case, claimed it had thoroughly reviewed all the evidence and only disagreed with the acquittal of Suchart, who it said had been an operational commander and thus was very familiar with procedures to be followed on the day of the protests.He also had the authority to issue orders to change the course of action but failed to do so, said the NACC, so it was correct to challenge his acquittal.

The PAD, however, viewed the decision not to appeal the three other acquittals as being unjust to yellow-shirt victims. 

It claimed this was equivalent to helping the other three, despite the fact that the NACC’s own indictment report made clear that all the four were guilty. 

Panthep Puapongpan, a former PAD spokesperson, said the decision not to challenge three of the acquittals would make people believe the NACC’s decision was biased.

 The PAD would seek legal options to charge the NACC for the way it had handled the case, he said.

Suriyasai Katasila, the PAD’s ex-coordinator, said the NACC would do everything it could to ensure justice was done.

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