The Straits Times
Published on Sep 17, 2012

Army behind 2010 Thai 'Red Shirt' protest death: Inquest


BANGKOK (AFP) - The Thai military shot and killed a taxi driver during 2010 "Red Shirt" rallies, an inquest found on Monday, in the first ever ruling on deaths during the country's worst political violence in decades.

Mr Phan Kamkong, 43, was caught in a volley of gunfire when he ran out of a central Bangkok apartment block to see what was happening after hearing soldiers open fire at a minibus that had strayed into an area under army control, a Thai criminal court found.

"He was killed by gunfire from weapons of military personnel who fired at a van which drove into a restricted area," said judge Jitakorn Patanasiri, adding the troops were on duty and following orders at the time.

The inquest was to judge the facts of the May 15 2010 incident and is not charged with apportioning criminal responsibility for the killing. More than 90 people, mostly civilians, were killed and nearly 1,900 were wounded in street clashes and a military crackdown on the opposition rallies, which drew about 100,000 "Red Shirt" demonstrators at their peak.