DSI rules out detention of Abhisit, Suthep on murder charges

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BANGKOK, Dec 11 – Thailand’s Department of Special Investigation (DSI) will not seek a Criminal Court order to detain former premier Abhisit Vejjajiva and his ex-deputy Suthep Thaugsuban when they appear Thursday to acknowledge charges related to the deaths of Red Shirt activists in the 2010 political violence in Bangkok.

DSI Director Tarit Pengdith said today both are high-ranking political officials and members of parliament with no potential of fleeing.

The DSI will however impose four conditions–barring them from leaving the country without prior approval from investigative authorities, interfering in witnesses and evidence, creating violence and creating obstacles, or damaging the investigative authorities.

Earlier today, Karom Ponthaklang, a lawyer of the pro-government United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), and some relatives of 91 activists who died in the 2010 political rally submitted a letter to Mr Tarit, protesting against the DSI’s temporary release of Mr Abhisit and Mr Suthep.

Mr Tarit discussed the request with investigative authorities for nearly an hour before informing them of the four-point condition to be delivered to the two opposition heavyweights.

Mr Abhisit and Mr Suthep were charged by the DSI with conspiring in the shooting of demonstrators during the political protest and suppression by military force under the now-defunct the Centre for the Resolution of the Emergency Situation (CRES).

Mr Suthep was then CRES director while Mr Abhisit was implicated in the murder allegations in his capacity as prime minister overseeing the CRES.