The Thai Criminal Court on Friday ruled that a red shirt was shot dead by army personnel during the military crackdown on red-shirt protesters in May 2010.
The court ruled that Thawil Khammul, a red-shirt supporter, was killed at 6 am on May 19 2010, at a taxi stop on Ratchadamri road, opposite Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, not far from Sala Daeng intersection. The cause of his death was a high-velocity bullet penetrating the victim’s skull and heavily damaging brain tissues. From photographic evidence and witness testimony, the court concluded that the trajectory of the bullet was from the military who were moving from Sala Daeng intersection toward Ratchaprasong intersection. The court could not identify the person responsible, who was acting under orders.
According to witness testimony, a few people tried to reach Thawil’s body in order to take him to hospital, but were themselves shot and injured.
According to the People's Information Centre report on April-May 2010 Crackdowns, Thawil was the first person killed in the crackdown which started on May 19. Fabio Polenghi, an Italian freelance photo journalist, was shot dead about five hours later around the same area on Ratchadamri road. The court also ruled that in that case the trajectory of the bullet came from the military.
Suthep Thaugsuban, then Deputy Prime Minister, told parliamentarians in March 2011 that the authorities were not responsible for Thawil’s death as he had been lying dead before the military deployed in the area. Suthep was the Director of the Centre for the Resolution of Emergency Situation (CRES), a special working body responsible for handling the red-shirt demonstrations.
The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) in early December decided to indict former Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and Suthep, in his capacity as CRES Director, on charges of premeditated murder causing death in two other cases where the court earlier ruled that the fatal bullets were fired by the military.
The video shows Thawil Khammul, wearing a black t-shirt and jeans, lying down amid sounds of gunshots at a taxi stop on Ratchadamri road, opposite Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital.