Tarit 'apologised' for DSI pointing finger at Army for May deaths

national August 17, 2012 00:00

By The Nation

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The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) chief has apologised for his agency's pointing the finger at the Army for the deaths of many people during the unrest and riots in 2010, according to Army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha.


Prayuth said yesterday that DSI director-general Tarit Pengdith had called him to offer his apology. Tarit yesterday refused to comment on the Army chief’s remark.
Tarit insisted, however, that he did not publicly comment or disclose any information regarding the DSI investigation into the deaths.
The Army chief yesterday angrily commented on the remarks by certain DSI officials pointing the blame at the Army.
“If the justice process is not over yet, it is unfair to remark publicly. I made my request to Tarit Pengdith, the DSI director-general. He agreed to look into the matter and offered an apology,” General Prayuth said.
“The government also agreed to make sure [the people involved] stop talking about this when the case is not completed. If comments will be made, both sides should be allowed to talk. It should also be mentioned that officials were also killed and injured. Who were responsible for these casualties?” the Army chief said.
“My subordinates did not kill anyone, but they were shot at,” he said.
Ninety-one people were killed during the 10 weeks of unrest, including protesters, soldiers and police, passers-by, local residents, and foreign journalists. Some 2,000 others were injured during that period.
Deputy DSI director-general Prawet Moonpramuk, who heads the investigation into the deaths of 91 people during the unrest and riots, yesterday declined any comments on the case, saying that he was instructed by unnamed supervisors to “give daily interviews” to the media. He only said that next week people injured during the incident and eyewitnesses would be summoned for questioning.
Opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva yesterday warned the government of possible legal action for alleged political persecution in connection with the 2010 unrest and riots. Abhisit, who is also leader of the Democrat Party, said there were attempts by certain politicians in power to link the Democrats to the deaths of many red-shirt protesters in April and May 2010.
He said it was “not beyond the expectation” for the DSI to conduct further questioning on military snipers dispatched during the political unrest that began with a red-shirt street protest in mid-March 2010.