Who burned Bangkok?

26 03 2013

Both the Bangkok Post and The Nation report on the acquittal of two red shirts who had been charged in the arson of the CentralWorld shopping complex in May 2010. It is to be recalled that the Abhisit Vejjajiva regime had long claimed that the burning of the shopping mall was a planned act of red shirt defiance. The Democrat Party has continued to campaign against red shirts and the current government as aiding and abetting arsonists.A statue of Buddha and a torn Thai national flag remain in front of Bangkok's Central World shopping mall, as it burns

As PPT posted some time ago, the South Bangkok Criminal Court heard the case of the remaining defendants, Saichon Phaebua and Phinit Channarong. Earlier, two juveniles were acquitted. Phinit was arrested and charged with six others, accused of robbery, use of arms against the authorities, and violating the Emergency Decree. He had already been sentenced to six months for violating the Emergency Decree, but was acquitted on the other charges. Saichon was arrested three weeks after the arson and claimed he was forced to confess.

On 25 March, the Court freed both men, “citing a lack of witnesses and evidence.” The prosecution “failed to produce the policemen who arrested Mr Pinij…” and there were no witnesses to the arson produced: “The court also said CentralWorld security and fire-fighters who testified could not confirm they saw Mr Pinij set fire to the shopping centre.” Likewise, no “state witnesses could not provide firm evidence that … [Saichon] had set fire to the shopping complex.” Saichon was sentenced to a year for violating the Emergency Decree.

Red-shirt leaders Jatuporn Promphan and Weng Tojirakarn, who were at the court for the verdict, “said the court verdict indicated that the red shirts were not involved in ‘burning of the city’, as has been alleged,” by the Democrat Party and other royalists.

The question of who was responsible remains unanswered. At the time, red shirts seemed convinced that the event was related to military actions in the mall. As noted in our earlier post, some evidence in support of this claim was presented during the case against Saichon and Phinit.


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22 06 2013
Appealing arson acquittal | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] two red shirts who had been charged in the arson of the CentralWorld shopping complex in May 2010 were acquitted. Khaosod reports that the two men – Saichon Phaebua and Phinit Channarong – are to face […]

22 06 2013
Appealing arson acquittal | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] two red shirts who had been charged in the arson of the CentralWorld shopping complex in May 2010 were acquitted. Khaosod reports that the two men – Saichon Phaebua and Phinit Channarong – are to face court […]




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