Former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and former deputy PM Suthep Thaugsuban said yesterday that they were ready to accept their fate in relation to the murder charges levelled against them, but said they would never make compromises and let amnesty be provided to former PM Thaksin Shinawatra.
Abhisit and Suthep told the press that the charges they face had been motivated by efforts to push them into whitewashing Thaksin via an amnesty bill.
The Democrats held a press conference immediately after a Department of Special Investigation official, Pol Captain Piya Raksakul, visited the party headquarters to hand over summonses for Abhisit and Suthep to officially acknowledge the charges on Wednesday.
The DSI, in a meeting with the police and the public prosecutor on Thursday, decided that Abhisit, as then-prime minister, and Suthep, then-director of the Centre for Resolution of the Emergency Situation, would be charged as per Articles 59, 83, 84 and 288 of the Penal Code. This decision was based on a recent court ruling that taxi driver Phan Kamkong had been shot dead by military personnel during the crackdown on the 2010 anti-government protest.
Suthep said he expected the charges levelled against him and Abhisit because DSI chief Tarit Pengdith had been speaking to the press about this move for a while now. Suthep said he had told Tarit on Thursday that he and Abhisit were ready to meet investigators to acknowledge their charges and prove their innocence in court. Abhisit also said that he was not surprised by the DSI’s move.
“I’m not surprised by what happened, because since early this year, signals had been sent to me and Suthep – both directly and indirectly – to check on our stance on the government’s plan to push through the amnesty bill,” Abhisit said. “I have always stood by my belief that the rule of law must prevail.”
Abhisit noted that Tarit’s statement on Thursday matched earlier comments made by Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung, so obviously any legal actions taken against him and Suthep had been planned beforehand.
“I hereby affirm that I will not negotiate for anybody’s interest. I insist that wrongdoers must be brought to justice and will fight the case based on facts. I will not join the process to absolve people who cheated the country. I’ll accept my fate even if the judicial process lands me in jail or gets me executed, but I will not whitewash the wrongdoings of cheaters,” the opposition leader said.