Former Thailand PM cleared of charges in deadly protests

Former Thailand PM cleared of charges in deadly protests

[JURIST] Thailand’s Supreme Court [official website] on Thursday cleared former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva [BBC bio] and his then-deputy Suthep Thaugsuban of murder and attempted murder during a crackdown in 2010 on anti-government protesters. More than 90 people were killed [Reuters report] during the crackdown. The court affirmed [Bangkok Post report] the two lower courts’ decision that the Department for Special Investigation, which brought the case, did not have sufficient jurisdiction. The Supreme Court said that any proceedings must be filed with the National Anti-Corruption Commission [official website].

This decision follows the acquittal [JURIST report] of two other prime ministers earlier this month for a similar crackdown on protesters in 2008. Last week another former prime minister fled the country [JURIST report] before facing a verdict on her corruption charges. Also in August a Thai activist was imprisoned or sharing a BBC article about the country’s king, and a prominent Thai journalist was charged [JURIST reports] with sedition.