Appeals Court drops alleged unlawful 2010 military crackdown case against Abhisit and Suthep

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The Appeals Court today dropped the case against former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and his former deputy Suthep Thaugsuban brought against them for the deadly Military crackdown of red-shirt protesters in 2010.

The ruling by the second court was seen as to uphold earlier ruling by the first court or the Criminal Court which had in August 2014 rejected to proceed the trial of the two persons with reason that it had no jurisdiction to handle the case.

Both Mr Abhisit and Mr Suthep were charged by the Office of the Attorney-General on the recommendation of the Department of Special Investigation with murder and attempted murder in the 2010 military crackdown on the red-shirt protesters under the leadership of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD).

The prosecution appealed ruling by the first court.

At today’s hearing which Mr Abhisit and Mr Suthep were present along with relatives of victims killed in the crackdown, the Appeals Court shared the same reason given by the Criminal Court that it also had no jurisdiction to handle the trial.

The Appeals Court reasoned that Mr Abhisit and Mr Suthep issued the crackdown order in their capacity as prime minister and deputy prime minister in charge of the Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation (CRES) in order to restore peace and order in the country.

Therefore they issued crackdown orders not as  individuals but as authorised officials empowered by laws.

Therefore their orders were lawful and were not considered power abuses as they were charged

The court then said that the National Anti Corruption Commission should handle the investigation of the case when power abuses were alleged to be involved, and not the Department of Special Investigation which has no authority.

It said the trial should then be referred to the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Holders of Political Positions instead as earlier ruled by the first court.

After hearing the ruling, Mr Abhisit said the case was not yet final, as he did not know whether the prosecution would take it to the Supreme Court.