Thai ex-PM charged with murder over 2010 crackdown
Thaksin is in self-imposed exile to avoid serving a two-year jail term imposed on him for a conflict of interest conviction in 2008. Thaksin's supporters say he was unfairly convicted and would like to see him return without being jailed, while his opponents, such as Abhisit, insist that he not be let off the hook.
The case against Abhisit and Suthep is seen by many as a bargaining chip, to gain support for an amnesty that would cover many of the people charged or convicted of crimes in connection with the political battles after the coup. An amnesty to lift Thaksin's conviction would be would be more politically palatable if it covered Abhisit as well.
However, Abhisit in recent interviews has said he is willing to face justice, implying that Thaksin should take the same position.
About 50 Red Shirt demonstrators gathered peacefully outside DSI headquarters before Abhisit's arrival, seated on the ground and holding framed photos of relatives killed during the protests, as they shouted protests slogans over loudspeakers.
Several expressed the hope that the politicians would take responsibility for their actions and be placed in custody immediately after being charged.
Payao Akkhahad's daughter, Kamolkate, was a volunteer medic who was shot dead while treating injured Red Shirts who were sheltering at a temple after the army swept in.
"Her siblings and relatives have been waiting for this for a long time," said Payao, 47. "This is the first time that a person who has ordered the killing of civilian protesters will be put through legal proceedings. Even though it's late, it's better than a day that never comes at all."
About a dozen people showed up to offer flowers and moral support to Abhisit and Suthep. About 400 policemen were on the scene to maintain the peace, but had little to do.
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