Democrats ordered use of snipers: Korkaew
Pheu Thai MP and former red-shirt leader Korkaew Pikulthong delivered a statement at the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) yesterday, saying a police officer had once told him that the Democrat government had given security officers the green light to deploy snipers for crowd control.After the dispersal of protesters on May 19, 2010, Korkaew said he was detained at the Border Patrol Police's Naresuan camp in Phetchaburi province.
During detention, he said, a police lieutenant-colonel told him that the Centre for Resolution of the Emergency Situation had instructed the Border Patrol Police to deploy snipers to rein in the crowds.
However, the officer went on to say that the police did not heed the instructions because they had not been put down in writing. Korkaew added that he was ready to bring the officer in to confirm his remarks should the DSI be interested in pursuing this lead.
He claimed that the soldiers had coerced policemen into validating the discovery of military weapons that were found after the crowd-dispersal operation was completed.
In relation to the "men in black", he said he and other red-shirt leaders had repeatedly called on then-prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to unmask them to prove that they were in no way linked to the red shirts.
Korkaew said Abhisit had neglected to identify these men in black and had only recently revived the debate on their identity because he faced prosecution for cracking down on the crowds.
Korkaew said he could confirm that no men in black were present among the red-shirt protesters.
"I could only find one man with a black heart who ordered attacks on these people," he said, adding that even security agencies could not shed light on this issue, hence this was proof enough that no men in black existed.
He also criticised the final report submitted by the Truth for Reconciliation Commission of Thailand, saying it was written in a lopsided manner to cover up for Abhisit.
The TRCT recounted the presence of men in black during the April 10, 2010, anti-riot operations but failed to explain how their so-called involvement led to the high death toll, he said.
He also said that whether or not these men in black were present, the more than 20 deaths in violent incidents from May 13 to 18 at Rajprarop Road remained unexplained.