Two Democrat heavy-weights acknowledge charges by public prosecutor

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BANGKOK, Oct 31 – Thailand’s opposition leader  Abhisit Vejjajiva and his deputy Suthep Thaugsuban appeared at the Attorney General Office today to acknowledge indictment in their connection with the 2010 political upheaval in Bangkok.

Mr Abhisit was prime minister during the months-long demonstration by Red Shirt protesters while Mr Suthep was deputy prime minister and director of the Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation – specially set up to deal with demonstrators mainly at Bangkok’s business centre of Rajprasong.

The public prosecutor charged the pair with ordering the authorities to commit offences in killing people and premeditated murder during the political rally, led by the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship or Red Shirt faction.

Mr Abhisit said an official indictment against them would need the court’s approval since he and Mr Suthep, both members of Parliament, were legally protected from trial or arrest during a parliamentary session.

The present session ends in December and the public prosecutor decided to postpone the official indictment to December 12.

Mr Abhisit said all factions should respect the judicial system, and called on the government to stop pressing for the passage of the Amnesty Bill and concentrate on solving the people’s problems.

“I agree that the 2010 political incident resulted in losses and a fact-finding process should be encouraged. Mr Suthep and I are ready to go through the process and prove ourselves,” he said.

”We stand firm that we will strongly oppose the Amnesty Bill both inside and outside Parliament. Mr Suthep will organise an  activity to protest against the bill,” he said.

Regarding a Pheu Thai MP’s call for the pair to resign from Parliament, the former prime minister said there were many other government-spearheaded legislations including a Constitution amendment which he would have to fight against in Parliament.

He said he would wait until the public prosecutor formally indicted them after which they would file a lawsuit against the Attorney General.