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Thailand Drops Terrorism Charges Against Thaksin Shinawatra



Demonstrators hold portraits of former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra during an anti-government protest outside the Government House in Bangkok February 24, 2009.

BANGKOK — Terrorism charges against fugitive former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra in connection with the 2010 red-shirt protests have been dropped by prosecutors in Thailand due to “weak evidence”, says attorney-general Athapol Yaisawang.

He said the decision was made by his predecessor Chulasingh Vasantasingh, according to a Thai media report.

Reports on the terrorism charges against Thaksin and 23 other red-shirt protesters were submitted by the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) to the Attorney-General.

The charges against Thaksin were reviewed as a separate case because he was a fugitive. Because the alleged offence had happened outside Thailand, Chulasingh had the final word on whether to try Thaksin.

Nanthasak Pulsuk, spokesman for the Office of the Attorney-General, said Thaksin had only phoned in to the rallies from abroad, and there was no clear evidence he had encouraged people to carry out terrorist acts.

“Thaksin’s address [to the red shirts] did not call on the protesters to violate the law by burning city halls, embassies, consulate offices, or by toppling the Constitution. The violence at the Ratchaprasong intersection was because the government used military force to reclaim the protest area – with armoured vehicles and war weapons – to disperse the red-shirt protest, leading to many injuries and deaths,” he said.
DSI chief Tarit Pengdith said yesterday that the case would not be reopened and that the decision of the attorney-general was final.



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