NACC clears Abhisit, Suthep and Anupong
THE NATIONAL Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) yesterday dismissed charges of malfeasance against former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and others in connection with the crackdown on red-shirt rallies during the 2010 political protests.
The NACC also dismissed an im-peachment petition directed against Abhisit, then-deputy PM Suthep Thaugsuban and ex-Army chief General Anupong Paochinda. NACC secretary general Sansern Polajiak said the NACC had dropped the charges against Abhisit, Suthep and Anupong, all of whom had been accused of malfeasance for ordering police, military and civil officials to use force to disperse the rallies. The efforts to disperse the rallies led by the Democratic Alliance Against Dictatorship, which lasted from April 10 to May 19, 2010, led to heavy causalities. Sansern said the graft agency found that the specific charges for failure to review the use of military force, dereliction of duty and intentionally ordering the killing of innocents, resulting in the loss of lives and assets, had no basis in fact.
The NACC probe concluded that the Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation (CRES) had reviewed and adjusted military operations after the military’s crowd-control operations on April 10 led to deaths and injuries. As a result, the CRES stopped using force in crowd-control operations and set up checkpoints to prevent more people from entering the protest sites in Bangkok’s inner city, in an attempt to pressure protesters to give up, the graft agency said.
On May 19, security officials were dispatched to Lumpini Park not to disperse protesters inside the park but to pressure armed groups that had surrounded the park, the NACC found.
Sansern said authorities followed legal procedures and international-standard measures to disperse protesters by warning them to leave the area before security forces moved in.
However, the NACC ruled that the Department of Special Investigation should take legal action against security officials – who had caused deaths and injuries during the crackdown – and their superiors.