BANGKOK, Thailand — The Supreme Court of Thailand on Wednesday acquitted former prime minister Somchai Wongsawat of charges on ordering a 2008 crackdown on anti-government protesters.
The former prime minister, together with three high-profile defendants including his then-deputy prime minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, then-national police chief Patcharawat Wongsuwon and then-metropolitan police commander Suchart Mueankaew, were charged with malfeasance over the deadly crackdown on the yellow-shirt movement nine years ago.
Somchai ordered the crackdown to clear protesters from the entrance to parliament after his cabinet were prevented from leaving the parliament grounds.
The riot control police used teargas to disperse the anti-government campaigners, leading to two deaths and 417 injured.
The court cleared allegations against them, saying the government was required by the constitution to address the parliament that day, but blocked by protesters.
The court ruled that the defendants have no intention to cause injuries or deaths and such volatile situation prompted them to order the crackdown.
Somchai said he felt happy to know justice still exists. He thanked his supporters who flocked to the front of the court since the early morning.
The accusation was made in 2015. The first hearing of the case took place in 2016. Somchai gave his closing statement verbally on June 30.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK