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Ex-Thai PM Vejjajiva 'faces murder charge'

22:13 Thu Dec 6 2012
AAP

Former Thai prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is to face a charge of murder over the death of a taxi driver who was shot by soldiers during 2010 "Red Shirt" rallies, authorities say.

The Department of Special Investigation, police and Thai prosecutors announced the decision, which marks the first charges for deaths during the mass rallies in Bangkok against Abhisit's government.

"The tripartite meeting has decided to charge former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and former deputy Suthep Thaugsuban under article 288," said DSI chief Tarit Pengdith, referring to the murder provision under Thailand's criminal code.

He said the group based their decision on further witness testimony as well as a court ruling that taxi driver Phan Kamkong was shot and killed by Thai soldiers during the country's worst political violence in decades.

Abhisit and Suthep will be summoned by letter to hear the charges and to be questioned on December 12, Tarit said, adding that authorities would not seek court permission to detain the men.