Army Drops Charges Against Soldiers Who Killed 6 in Temple

Soldiers fire into Pathum Wanaram Temple on May 22, 2014.

BANGKOK — Soldiers who killed six people at a temple during a 2010 protest will not stand trial in a military court, the family of one of the slain victims said Friday.

Phayaw Akkahad, whose daughter Kamonkate Akkahad was shot dead while she was treating the wounded, said investigators informed her that the military prosecutors decided to drop charges against the eight soldiers due to “a lack of evidence.”

Read: Court Inquest Says Soldiers Kill 6 at Wat Pathum

“Today the the military prosecutors announced the eight soldiers won’t be indicted,” Phayaw wrote on her Facebook. “The prosecutors justified the decision by arguing that there was no evidence, no circumstantial evidence, and no eyewitnesses.”

Phayaw said she found the news incredulous because an inquest by a criminal court back in 2013 explicitly ruled that military personnel were responsible for the temple deaths.

“With all my sincere heart, I cannot accept this decision,” she wrote. “As for what measures I’ll take about this, I’ll let you all know later.”

Phayaw’s daughter and five others were shot dead inside and around Pathum Wanaram Temple on May 19, 2010, when soldiers were moving to crush the encampment of Redshirt protesters in the area following two months of demonstrations.

Amateur video footage showed soldiers firing into the temple, which had been designated as a “safe zone” by the government, from nearby skytrain tracks.

All of the dead were civilians. Kamonkate was a volunteer medic who was assisting the injured at the time of her death. The 2013 inquest said they were shot by the same group of soldiers seen in the eyewitness video.

Despite years of legal inquiries, no one has been held responsible for the 2010 crackdown, in which about 90 people died.

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