The Criminal Court yesterday concluded that a civilian red-shirt supporter was killed by soldiers in Bangkok during the 2010 anti-government protests.
Weng: Abhisit, Suthep must take the rap
The ruling followed a request by criminal litigation prosecutors for the court to establish the identity and circumstances surrounding the death of a man who was fatally shot in front of a petrol station in Soi Rang Nam on May 15, 2010.
This is the second protest fatality the court has ruled was caused by soldiers. Prosecutors have filed 36 protest death cases with the court.
The first ruling concerned the case of Phan Khamkong, who was shot dead by soldiers on Ratchaprarop Road on May 14, 2010.
In the latest case, the court identified the victim as Channarong Phonsrila, a taxi driver who was taking part in the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) protest.
While constructing a bunker out of tyres in front of a petrol station on Soi Rang Nam, gunfire broke out and Channarong was shot in the abdomen and right arm.
He was taken to Phyathai 1 Hospital, where he later died.
Evidence showed Channarong was shot with .223 ammunition or 5.56mm high-velocity rounds which can be fired from M16, HK33 or Tavor rifles.
Information from Thai and foreign reporters suggested the bullets were fired from soldiers positioned behind barbed wire and sandbags on Ratchaprarop Road in the Pratunam area.
Soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Battalion of the 1st Infantry Regiment were said to have been deployed in the area under the orders of the Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation (CRES).
However, it could not be concluded that the fatal shots came from 3rd Infantry Battalion soldiers, as they might have been fired by soldiers from other units.
Present at the court to hear the ruling were Channarong's wife Suriyan and their two daughters, as well as UDD chairwoman Tida Tawornseth and her husband, UDD core member Weng Tojirakarn.
Mrs Suriyan said the court's ruling would restore Channarong's reputation, as the previous government had labelled him a terrorist.
Mr Weng said that since Channarong was shot to death by soldiers on duty under a CRES order, then-premier Abhisit Vejjajiva and Suthep Thaugsuban, who at the time was deputy prime minister and the CRES director, must take responsibility for the taxi driver's death.
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