BANGKOK – The van driver shot during the crackdown on Redshirt protesters in May 2010 says he wants to personally ask former PM Abhisit Vejjajeeva about the military operation that led to his injury.
Samorn Maithong was driving his van in central Bangkok on the night of 15 May 2010 when he encountered a roadblock manned by the soldiers who were tightening their grip around the Redshirts' main encampment. Samorn says he was then shot and injured by gunfire coming from soldiers' camp.
While Samorn survived the gunshot wound, others were not as lucky. A taxi driver and a 14 year old boy standing nearby were shot and killed by the gunfire, according to court inquests.
The Division of Special Investigation (DSI) recently forwarded files about Samorn's injury to the Attorney General in order to process a criminal case against Abhisit, who authorized the military operation as Prime Minister.
Abhisit is scheduled to appear at the Attorney Office at Ratchadapisek Court this 26 June, but it is not certain whether he will appear in person.
Samorn said he pleased that his case is being processed by the DSI and planned to observe the meeting between Abhisit and the Attorney tomorrow (26 June). He said he hoped for a chance to ask the former Prime Minister about his views on the military operation.
Speaking to our correspondent, Samorn expressed anger that Abhisit and and his deputy at the time, Suthep Theuksuban, have never formally apologized to the families of those who lost their lives in the crackdown.
"They keep shoving all the blame on the Blackshirts, but in reality the soldiers were the ones who besieged the area and used firearms to violently disperse the people, in the middle of the city. After what happened, the two still walk around, unconcerned about the people′s deaths," Samorn said.
He said he had great hope that the case would turn out in his favor as the DSI has been gathering information for three years. Samorn said he hoped the court would give fairness to the victims of 2010 crackdown as "the court is the last resort for justice" for the victims' families.