Too many questions surround ‘red-shirts’ trial
by Weena Kowitwanij
General prosecutor is rushing the legal process rather than seeking the truth. Lawyer for the leaders of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship accuses prosecutors of having too many suspicious assignments and being too closely connected to Thailand’s deputy prime minister.
Bangkok (AsiaNews) – There is a rush to bring to trial the leaders of the ‘red-shirt’ movement, the supporters of Thai former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who tried to bring down the Thai government and bring back from exile the ousted tycoon, this according to Karom Pontaklang, defence attorney for the leaders of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD). “Even against UDD’s top leaders, Jatupron Prompan e Karun Hosakul, the prosecutor appears to be in a hurry,” he said.

Currently, 19 people are on trial for their role in the bloody events of last May, when the authorities felt compelled to impose a curfew on Bangkok and several provinces.

Despite bringing charges of murder, “prosecutors are not seeking evidence. They are not trying to find facts. They are not even interrogating the accused. All they are doing is bringing witnesses for the prosecution, and going ahead,” Mr Pontaklang.

The problem lies with the Department of Special Investigations, which is headed by Tharit Pengdid. It is officially charged with proving that UDD leaders were engaged in “terrorism”.

In fact, according to the UDD lawyer, “both Tharit and Procurator Julasing are members of the Operation Centre for the Control of Emergency Situations under Deputy Prime Minister Tueksuban. They are not impartial.”