Red Shirt trial 'likely to be postponed'
The terrorism trial of Thai "Red Shirt" protest leaders in connection with deadly unrest in 2010 is expected to be postponed because some defendants have parliamentary immunity, the defence said Tuesday.
Wednesday 8 August 2012, 02:33PM
Twenty-three figures within the movement, including four serving lawmakers, are due to appear in a Bangkok court on Thursday, but defence lawyer Karom Polpornklang said the hearing would probably be pushed back.
"Some of the defendants are lawmakers who have immunity. This case cannot be done individually as all the defendants were charged together and the witnesses and evidence are the same," he told AFP.
One option would be for the court to schedule a hearing for after the current session of parliament ends in late November.
Two months of anti-government protests in Bangkok in April and May 2010 by the Red Shirts triggered a series of clashes between demonstrators and troops that left at least 90 people dead -- mostly civilians -- and nearly 1,900 injured.
Most top Red Shirts surrendered to police after the army launched a crackdown on the movement's fortified encampment in the heart of Bangkok. No government official or military personnel has been charged over the deaths.
The kingdom, which remains deeply divided by the bloodshed, now has a new government allied to the Red Shirts' hero, fugitive former leader Thaksin Shinawatra, whose sister Yingluck is prime minister.
Two foreign journalists were among those killed during the 2010 rallies, including Japanese cameraman Hiroyuki Muramoto.
Then prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, his deputy Suthep Thaugsuban and former army chief Anupong Paojinda will be called as witnesses in the official inquest into Muramoto's death which began in May, the court said Tuesday.
Police initially insisted that the military was not behind the killing of Muramoto, but Yingluck's government said in November last year there was clear evidence that soldiers were responsible.