Thailand jails ex-policeman over grenade attack
A court in Thailand on Tuesday sentenced a former police officer to 38 years in prison for attempting to fire a grenade at the defence ministry during political unrest in Bangkok last year.
Tuesday 13 December 2011, 05:32PM
Retired Lance Corporal Bandit Sitthitum was convicted at the Criminal Court in Bangkok of conspiring to commit a terrorist act as well as illegal possession of a firearm and explosives, a court spokesman told AFP.
"The suspect's actions destabilised the country at a time when a number of acts of sabotage occurred against government facilities," he said, quoting the court verdict.
State prosecutors said that Bandit had aimed to fire a rocket-propelled grenade at the defence ministry on May 20, 2010, but missed the target and wounded one person.
Following the incident, the head of the justice ministry's department of special investigation, Tarit Pengdith, accused Bandit of links to the "Red Shirt" protest movement loyal to fugitive ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra.
More than 90 people, mostly civilians, were killed and nearly 1,900 were wounded during a series of street protests in the Thai capital in April and May 2010 that drew about 100,000 Red Shirt demonstrators at their peak.