Thai deputy PM to hear complaint over crackdown


Afp May 11, 2010

BANGKOK: Thailand's deputy premier went to the authorities on Tuesday to hear a complaint against him by "Red Shirt" opposition protesters demanding he surrender over his role in a deadly crackdown.

Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaungsuban, who was overseeing security when troops launched a failed attempt on April 10 to clear an area of the capital, made no comment as he arrived at the Department of Special Investigation (DSI). "Suthep will come to hear the complaint and I think an arrest warrant against him is not necessary as he has shown his innocence," DSI director Tarit Pengdit told reporters earlier.

"Red Shirt" opposition protesters vowed Monday to keep up their crippling rally in the Thai capital until the deputy premier surrendered to police.

It was unclear whether his visit to the DSI would satisfy the movement, which has been holding mass protests in Bangkok for two months in a campaign for elections to replace the government, defying a state of emergency. The DSI is under the supervision of the justice ministry and deals with special cases.

The Red Shirts have called for Suthep to go to the police instead, but Tarit said the case would be referred to the DSI anyway. Thailand is reeling from the worst political violence in almost two decades in its capital, with a total of 29 people killed and almost 1,000 injured, including 25 people who lost their lives in the April 10 crackdown

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