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Former PMs in Thai court ahead of abuse of power verdict

Thailand's former Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat, center, smilies upon his arrival at a courthouse Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017, in Bangkok, Thailand. A ...
Thailand's former deputy Prime Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, left, arrives at a courthouse in Bangkok, Thailand on Wednesday, Aug 2, 2017 to hear th...
A police officer standing guard outside a courthouse adjusts his headwear ahead of the arrival of Thailand's former Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat, ...
Police officers stand guard outside a courthouse ahead of the arrival of Thailand's former Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat, Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017, ...

Thailand's former Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat, center, smilies upon his arrival at a courthouse Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017, in Bangkok, Thailand. A ...

Thailand's former deputy Prime Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, left, arrives at a courthouse in Bangkok, Thailand on Wednesday, Aug 2, 2017 to hear th...

A police officer standing guard outside a courthouse adjusts his headwear ahead of the arrival of Thailand's former Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat, ...

Police officers stand guard outside a courthouse ahead of the arrival of Thailand's former Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat, Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017, ...

BANGKOK (AP) — Two former Thai prime ministers have arrived in court in Bangkok to hear verdicts in their trial arising from the quelling of an anti-government protest in 2008.

Somchai Wongsawat and his then-deputy Chavalit Yongchaiyudh have both denied the charges of abuse of power.

The charges allege they authorized police to use force to clear protesters who had blockaded the National Assembly building. A pitched battle erupted, injuring several hundred people and causing two deaths. Some of the most serious wounds were caused by tear gas canisters that exploded as they landed.

Somchai is the brother-in-law of Thaksin Shinawatra, the popular prime minister deposed by a 2006 coup. His supporters see the various criminal cases against Thaksin, Somchai and others as attempts to erase his influence from Thai political life.


Updated : 2021-01-20 07:54 GMT+08:00