Author Topic: DSI links 25 riot deaths to military  (Read 452 times)

Offline Johnnie F.

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DSI links 25 riot deaths to military
« on: May 18, 2012, 01:02:14 PM »
DSI links 25 riot deaths to military

Tarit hands in report on 2010 crackdown probe

State authorities may be responsible for the deaths of at least 25 people during the 2010 political mayhem, Department of Special Investigation chief Tarit Pengdith says.

Mr Tarit yesterday reported on the progress of the investigations into 89 deaths resulting from the military crackdown on red shirt protesters in April and May of 2010.

Of the 89 fatalities in the capital, 25 may have been caused by state authorities, Mr Tarit said. Two other people died in the unrest, one in Khon Kaen and one in Udon Thani.

The DSI had previously forwarded its report into 22 deaths which may have been caused by state authorities to the Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB) for autopsies. Some of the cases have now been submitted to the courts.

On the Record: Still seeking answers
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Mr Tarit said the MPB recently asked the DSI to hand over another three cases for investigation, bringing the number of cases involving state authorities to 25.

The DSI also found that at least 12 people died as a result of the actions of members of the red shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD). However, Mr Tarit said that investigators could not yet determine who was responsible for the other 52 deaths.

He said little evidence was left after the political violence, even though many UDD members had provided information on the incidents to the DSI.

Mr Tarit said the agency had not yet recommended ending the investigation into the 89 deaths after two years of inquiry.

If the DSI makes no progress and cannot finalise the investigations within two years, it then has to recommend to the prosecution that the probes be stopped, he added.

The DSI is still attempting to gather as much evidence as possible relating to the deaths, including satellite photos capturing the political unrest.

Mr Tarit also urged Robert Amsterdam, a lawyer for ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra who claimed he had crucial evidence relating to the 89 deaths in Bangkok, to pass details to the DSI.

Meanwhile, Elisabetta Polenghi, the younger sister of Italian photojournalist Fabio Polenghi who was among the 89 people killed in Bangkok, met deputy MPB chief Anuchai Lekbamrung to follow up on progress into the case.

The Italian was killed on May 19, 2010, during clashes between red shirt protesters and security forces on Ratchadamri Road. The MPB had concluded that the death resulted from the actions of government officials.

The case has been submitted to the Bangkok South Criminal Court, which will begin a first witness hearing next Wednesday. Ms Polenghi, as a complainant, will also testify.

Speaking through a translator yesterday, Ms Polenghi said she had handed some evidence to police.

She said she was not seeking revenge or punishment for those who killed her elder brother, but wants to uncover the truth and see who will take responsibility for what happened.

Ms Polenghi will visit the scene of her brother's death tomorrow before joining a UDD rally to mark the second anniversary of the political violence at Ratchaprasong intersection in Bangkok.

Bangkok police spokesman Preeda Sathaworn said 1,200 officers will be deployed to maintain security at the intersection, with checkpoints to be set up in surrounding areas.

Motorists are advised to avoid routes near the gathering site, including Henri Dunant Road, Phloenchit Road and Ratchadamri Road, which may be closed to traffic depending on the number of red shirts who turn up.

Bangkok Post