Appeals Court Rejects Murder Case Against Abhisit, Suthep

Former Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, head of the Democrat Party speaks to reporters Wednesday at the Appeals Court in Bangkok.

BANGKOK — Former Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and his former deputy Suthep Thaugsuban will not face charges of murder stemming from a 2010 military crackdown on Redshirt demonstrators after the Appeals Court today upheld a lower court's decision not to hear the case.

The court upheld a 2014 decision by the Criminal Court to dismiss the charges, saying it was the wrong venue for the case because when Abhisit and Suthep authorized the order, which sent soldiers to clear the streets and left at least 20 people dead, they did so in their legal capacity as officials in charge of managing the crisis.

The suit was filed by families of three killed during the crackdown.

Suthep, who went on to lead the street protests which helped dislodge the Redshirt-backed government elected in the wake of 2010, declined to comment on the decision.

Abhisit said after the ruling that the case isn’t settled yet, as prosecutors could take it further to the Supreme Court.

Chokchai Angkaew, a lawyer representing the families, said he will collect more evidence and appeal the ruling. Being prime minister and deputy prime minister, he said, did not mean they could authorize murder.

Additional reporting Sasiwan Mokkhasen