Thai Court Rules Military Responsible for Journalist's Death

Created: 2013-05-30 13:13 EST

Category: World > Asia Pacific

An Italian photo-journalist shot dead in Bangkok while taking pictures during an anti-government protest in 2010 was killed by a bullet fired by a soldier, a Thai court ruled on Wednesday.

Fabio Polenghi, 48, was killed on May 19 when troops moved in to disperse "red shirt" supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

The supporters had been camped in the center of the capital for weeks, demanding an early election.

Fabio's sister, Elisabetta Polenghi, says this is just the first step and that those responsible need to be held accountable.

[Elisabetta Polenghi]:
"The right motion would be—if there was a result, finally a result, this one is just the first step. So now I'm expecting that something really happen. And I repeat the one who are responsible then they have to get a kind of, a kind of penalty."

Polenghi's lawyer, Karom Ponthaklang, told media the court had ruled on those accountable.

He added that evidence showed the bullet used was the type used by Thai troops.

The ruling could spell further trouble for Abhisit and Suthep, who were charged last year with giving orders to use live ammunition that led to civilian deaths.

They have a number of similar cases pending against them.

If found guilty, they could face the death penalty or life in prison.

A Truth for Reconciliation Commission set up by Abhisit's government to investigate the deadly clashes has released a 351-page case report.

It lays blame for the deaths on the military and a shadowy group of militants dressed in black who were presumed to be on the side of the red shirts.