The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) chief, Tarit Pengdith, cannot be absolved from his responsibility for the people killed in the 2010 crackdown as he was a member of the Centre for Resolution of the Emergency Situation (CRES), Payao Akhad said
Payao explained that if other CRES members were found guilty, there is no reason why Tarit should not be held responsible as well.
“[Tarit] knew everything about 2010 [crackdown]. All of them should be held responsible,” she said.
So far, the Criminal Court has ruled that bullets from the soldiers’ side killed four people.
Payao added that a group of relatives of the 2010 crackdown victims would push the Yingluck Shinawatra government to remove Tarit from the DSI and subject him to investigation as well.
She also complained that former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and his then-deputy Suthep Thaugsuban were not detained like other red shirts when the DSI accused them of having the intention to murder in relation to the 2010 crackdown.
“If they were granted bail later, then it would have been different,” she said, adding that all Army officers involved in ordering and carrying out the alleged shooting of protesters in 2010 should also be prosecuted.
Payao said that while Abhisit admitted to foreign media that soldiers had been told to use live bullets in self-defence, many of the nearly 100 people killed had bullet wounds above their knee and a few were shot in the head, which does not constitute an act of self-defence.
“It must be considered as over-reaction,” Payao said. She is arguably one of the most prominent relatives of victims and has since become a leading activist calling for justice for those killed in 2010.
Payao said her daughter was shot five times, as proved by the official autopsy, even though she had been wearing a Red Cross apron and was at the temple which had been declared a sanctuary by the government on May 19, 2010.
“If we don’t prosecute soldiers now, then they will end up engaging in such ‘operations’ again and again,” Payao said.