December 7th, 2012
12:46 AM ET

Former Thai prime minister faces murder charge over 2010 crackdown

The consequences of ordering the military to crack down on anti-government demonstrations more than two years ago has come back to haunt the former Thai prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.

Thai authorities have charged Abhisit and his former deputy with murder in relation to the killing of Pan Kumkong, a taxi driver, amid the unrest that brought chaos to the streets of the capital city, Bangkok, in 2010.

The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) said Thursday that the charges against Abhisit and Suthep Thaungsuban concern orders to soldiers to use live ammunition in the area were Pan was shot. If convicted, they would face the punishment of death or life in prison.

The Court of Justice ruled in September that the taxi driver's death resulted from acts carried out by the military under instructions from the Center for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation, a temporary task force set up by Abhisit.

He and Suthep have been summoned to hear the charges on Wednesday, said Thairt Pengdit, director general of the DSI.

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