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Thai body to speed up probe of 91 deaths in 2010 riots

Publication Date : 09-08-2012


Department of Special Investigation director-general Tharit Pengdit yesterday called a meeting to speed up inquiries into the deaths of 91 people during the 2010 political riots in Thailand.

He said Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung had ordered a meeting of investigators into the case because some police officials - such as Pol Colonel Narat Sawetnant, who had been in charge of the investigation - had been transferred to take up other responsibilities.

Chalerm also wanted investigators to classify cases into murder, attempted murder, and assaults, and to include pinpointing the masterminds and what weapons were used against the 91 people, Tharit said.

More than 2,000 people injured in the riots also filed complaints with police. "The cases of people who have evidence about those who were injured or killed by state officials are [merged] into one case," he said.

A total of 21 cases are facing trial and judges will decide whether state officials were involved in any of them, he said.

Meanwhile, Pol Colonel Prawet Munpramuk, chief investigator into the 91 cases, said he had called a meeting of a new police team because a previous group comprising 300 officers had not made any progress. He instructed the new team to shorten its investigation procedures.

Officials who conducted autopsies were invited to join the investigation team and a new direction in the inquiries had been mapped out, he said. Police will focus on interrogating witnesses, the injured and gather circumstantial evidence from the riots.

"After Narat was appointed as Justice Ministry inspector, more injured people from the riots filed complaints against former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and former deputy PM Suthep Thaugsuban accusing them of attempted murder," he said.

In 2010, Thailand's army chief called for early elections, as pressure mounted on then Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva whose party faced allegations of overfunding activities.


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